TAYLOR, Texas — Two high school students in Taylor are on their way to becoming professional chefs, and have their first-place win to prove it.

"I just went into there and did what I did, tried to have fun with it,” said Senior Jordan Kruse. 

Kruse and Jacob Buchanan are both in the Culinary 2 class at Taylor ISD. 

"I enjoy it more as a hobby than something I have to get done with,” said Kruse. 

The latest thing they've cooked up is a first-place win at the first ever Texas State Technical College "Chopped" competition. 

"We practiced a little bit at school beforehand, just making little meals,” said Buchanan. 

The two were partners for the mystery challenge. 

"They give you a random assortment of ingredients and you have to make a dish with it,” said Kruse. 


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"Eventually we made something up that worked,” said Buchanan. 

Their first-place winner was a baked Cornish game hen, collard greens and mashed sweet potatoes. 

"It was a little difficult, I’ll be honest, because we had to multitask a lot,” said Buchanan. 

As first-place winners, they took home a chef coat and a $1,000 scholarship to Texas State Technical College. 

But for these students, the real win may be finding a new passion. 

"You can always make your own stuff with whatever you have and it's just experimenting and stuff, and I’m really into that,” said Buchanan. 

"I knew that soon I would be graduating, soon I would have no one cooking for me, and I didn't want to live off of canned goods,” said Kruse. 

But now his thoughts on cooking have evolved. He's planning to use their first-place scholarship to go to culinary school. 

"I took this class as a necessity and then found myself enjoying it,” said Kruse.

An excitement that just may mean this is a professional kitchen after all.