An Islip High School senior's original carrot-cake recipe won second place in a national pastry competition.
Owen Eubanks, a culinary arts student at Eastern Suffolk BOCES' Edward J. Milliken Technical Center in Oakdale, was among 10 aspiring chefs selected to participate in the final round of America's Best High School Pastry Chef Competition. It was held at the Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College in New Rochelle.
The contest challenged participants to prepare a dessert within 90 minutes that included a main item, sauce, cookie or crisp item, chocolate and fruit. Eubanks' creation featured orange white-chocolate yogurt mousse, cream cheese crémeux, candied carrots, poached pineapples, carrot sauce, walnut nougatine and white chocolate garnish.
He won a $36,000 scholarship to the institute. However, he plans to attend Johnson & Wales University on an $80,000 scholarship.
"I just get into the zone when I get into the kitchen," said Eubanks, 17, who credited his grandparents with introducing him to baking at an early age. Of his dessert, he said, "It was something I enjoyed making, and I made it so much I just got used to it."
Eubanks, a four-time scholar-athlete, is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, his school's varsity track team and the Athletes Helping Athletes program. He also has participated in SkillsUSA and volunteered with the Special Olympics.