Cinderella Ball Competition


The Wiregrass Culinary students won first place at the Cinderella Ball dessert competition at Land O Lakes High School Tuesday night. Last year, they won the People’s Choice Award, but this is the first year any culinary program other than Land O Lakes has earned the grand prize. The Wiregrass students that created the winning dish were senior culinary students Jeremy Neel, Isaac Oliver and Chris Lawshe.

Wiregrass took home a traveling cupcake trophy, a first place trophy, and each student on the winning team received a first place medal. As a result of winning first place, their dessert will be served to approximately 250 guests at the 10th annual Pasco Education Foundation’s Cinderella Ball on April 7th.

The competition included eight total teams from Wiregrass, Fivay, Anclote, and Land O Lakes. Wiregrass brought two teams to the competition, the other team included: Yesanie Villanueva-McDougall, Sydnie Murski and Christian Garcia.

Each team was required to plate 6 desserts, one for each judge and one for the display table the guests of the competition could view. They also had to provide 80 samples in plastic cups that included the components of each dessert for the audience, who would vote for their favorite as a separate award.

WRHS students who participated in the Cinderella Ball competition.

Chef Blythe, who teaches the Culinary program at Wiregrass, was impressed by his students.

“The goal was to give them the experience by getting them into a competition because the culinary students don’t get a lot of them, whether they won or not,” Blythe said.

The Wiregrass teams spent four to five hours after school multiple days and spent the morning of the competition preparing for the event.

The theme of the competition was “Be Our Guest,” so the winning team aptly named their dessert “The Beauty and the Beast.”  They made an apple rose tart, representing beauty, which was a puff pastry with apple slices that they made look like a rose and a dark chocolate molten cake, representing the beast. They also included candied yellow rose petals representing Belle’s dress and the rose losing it’s petals.

“The Beauty and the Beast” by Wiregrass Ranch

Senior culinary student Jeremy Neel expressed that winning meant a lot to him and the Wiregrass culinary program.

“Winning first place was amazing, especially because we were the first high school besides Land O’ Lakes to win the competition. It was a great feeling to know that we could do that since our culinary program is a lot smaller than theirs,” Neel explained.

Isaac Oliver shared some advice for future students who want to compete in the competition next year.

“I would tell the seniors next year to really work on the speech, because that’s what really helps. A lot of people get nervous and have trouble describing the deserts for how good they really are,” Oliver said. “I would also be innovative and come up with something creative or new, not something simple.”