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'Waffle Warriors' Win State Cook-Off
'Waffle Warriors' Win State Cook-Off
Posted on 04/21/2021
Pictured (from left) are Brayden Ledford, Emma Gouge, Holden White, and Mishayla Edwards.Pictured (from left) are Brayden Ledford, Emma Gouge, Holden White, and Mishayla Edwards.

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Congratulations to the "Waffle Warriors" at Clyde A. Erwin High! They won first place in the first-ever virtual North Carolina Jr. Chef cook-off.

Students Mishayla Edwards, Brayden Ledford, Holden White, and Emma Gouge ran the kitchen like clockwork as they carefully crafted their culinary masterpiece: Holy Smoke Show Waffles. Inspired by student favorite “Taco Tuesdays,” the dish features a homemade taco seasoning blend with just the right amount of heat, Brasstown Beef chili, sweet potatoes, crispy kale chips, cornbread waffles, diced jalapeños, and cheddar cheese.

For the contest, the Erwin Jr. Chefs prepared and plated their recipe within a 90-minute window in March. They also participated in a live interview to present their culinary creations to a panel of evaluators last week.

"We are really proud of the dish we created," Brayden said. "We practiced several days together as a team, and the video submission was flawless. We worked really well together."

After weeks of coaching the students, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers Lacy Davis and Kady Grogan-Rice recorded the video submission and helped the students prep for their presentation and 45-minute interview.

"I have to brag on how well they answered the judges' questions," said Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Lacy Davis. "This team put in the work to practice their elements of the dish. They practiced at school and at home, and when we filmed their video submission, Kady and I watched this group of students work together and cook as if they were professionals in the industry for 20 years! One judge's comment was that it looked rehearsed because it was so smooth. We are so proud of the Waffle Warriors!"

The Waffle Warriors were recognized during the virtual N.C. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Leadership Conference on Friday. They also received chef coats and hats, certificates and medals, plaques for the school, and will host the competition trophy until the next cook-off.

Sullivan University in Kentucky will offer scholarships to the students.

"Cooking is a passion of mine, and being able to compete and earn scholarships as a junior in high school is so rewarding," Brayden said. "I knew we had it!"

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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