RHS students crowned Taco John's West-Mex Culinary Competition champions

Dec 13, 2012 Staff

Six teams representing five Wyoming high schools battled for first place in the West-Mex Culinary Competition held by Taco John's and the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association.

Ty Jones and Reagan Vonkrosigk of Riverton High School were declared the winners after the two-day cooking competition at Taco John's headquarters in Cheyenne. Their creation, the Fruit Tostada, is a fried flour tortilla dusted with cinnamon sugar and filled with sweetened cream cheese, diced banana, strawberries and kiwi. This is the second consecutive year a Riverton team has taken home the top prize.

Cheyenne East High School students Korrie Stolz and Dixon Maggard were the first runners up for their Spicy Pepper Pockets.

"Both teams did a great job of blending American and Mexican cuisines into innovative menu items," said Bob Karisny, vice president of Menu Strategy and Innovation for Taco John's. "But at the end of the day, the Fruit Tostada's crispy blend of cinnamon sugar and fresh fruit was the big winner with the judges."

Jones and Vonkrosigk will each receive a $500 general scholarship for their first-place finish. Their Fruit Tostada will also be offered at the Cheyenne Taco John's restaurants for a limited time with all the proceeds going to the WLRA Education Foundation. The runner-up team of Stolz and Maggard will each receive a $250 general scholarship.

The annual contest encourages Wyoming high school students to pursue careers in the food service industry. Participants must be enrolled in the WLRA's ProStart Program to qualify.

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