Alvirne CTE Gets Creative in MRE Challenge, a Cooking Competition

November 29, 2019


It was a high school cooking extravaganza.

Six schools’ CTE programs were invited to the challenge sponsored by the New Hampshire National Guard and the NH Department of Education at the Salem High School Center.  The 2019 MRE Challenge, a cooking competition in the style of “Chopped” or “Iron Chef America,” involved six New Hampshire High School Career and Technical Education programs.

It was a friendly contest to increase awareness of CTE programs and opportunities for high school students in the National Guard.  Teams of three culinary students were paired with an administrator.  From the Palmer CTE Center it was Chef Dave Bressler with the team of Adrienne McCoy-Sophos, Kody Hobart, Abigail Tarrant and a New Hampshire Army National Guardsman.

First the team was tasked with writing a menu in 15 minutes and creating four plates for judging in an hour that they would create from three different MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) supplied.  Students did not know which MREs they had until the event started.

Prior to the competition, the schools were given 12 MREs to practice and get familiar with a week before the contest.  The National Guard also unveiled one secret ingredient that would need to be incorporated into the dishes.

Also from each school were CTE marketing, video production team.  Traveling to the Salem center was Alvirne’s Palmer Center and teams from Nashua, Milford, Pinkerton, Salem, and the Manchester School of Technology.