SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Culinary students from Hoover, Madison, Mira Mesa, San Diego and Scripps Ranch high schools faced off in a teen "Iron Chef" competition on Wednesday.
The mystery for the participants was the identity of a secret ingredient they needed to incorporate into three-course meals, in the style of the popular "Iron Chef America" television program on the Food Network.
Just before the beginning of the San Diego Unified School District event, they learned the secret ingredient was tofu.
"It is so much fun and makes all of our classroom cooking projects more meaningful because we are cooking for professional judges," said Vannak Seang, a Mira Mesa student who competed last year.
The students were allowed to have recipes or prep-lists at their station during the competition.
On Tuesday, the culinary students worked on their ideas, went shopping and measured ingredients but weren't allowed to do any actual cooking, prepare dough or premix ingredients.
Several of the participating schools held mock competitions recently for practice and to select team members.
The team from Madison High School won the competition and besides bragging rights, Madison students were awarded special chef coats for winning the competition.
Some of the footage in this video report was shot using a GoPro camera.