CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) – Clinton High School’s Culinary Arts Class entered in the Cook Around the World Competition held at Epcot in Disneyworld and hosted by WorldStrides.

Chef Catherine Bruce, who in her third year of teaching the course, took two teams to the competition. One of those teams brought back top honors in the North America Signature Dish category and second place in the North America Side Dish category.

The competition portion of the venture was the part Chef Bruce felt the most comfortable about. It was raising the money and keeping the kids engaged she felt would be the most challenging.

“We had to raise over $40,000. I was committed to not charging the students a lot of money, so we had to embark on a lot of fundraising, most of which our students did themselves. Plus, we had great sponsors from around the community, the Mississippi Restaurant Association and a few private donors who also supported us,” said Chef Bruce.

The students were set in two groups and attacked the challenges with gusto. Chef Bruce said they practiced many times before the real thing, so the students were not thrown by the competition aspect of it all.

The competition bug has bitten the culinary students, getting them charged up for next year’s competition.

“They’ve already been planning on how to raise money for next year,” she said. “We have some other competitions we’re thinking about entering, so we’ll see how those turn out. But this competition in Epcot was truly amazing, and we’ll definitely return,” she said.