Devon Truelove Wins in Culinary at Skills USA


Stone Sinnett, Writer

Devon Truelove, a senior at Oakdale High School, attends the Career and Technology Center on the Frederick Community College campus. Truelove is enrolled in the culinary arts program, which every year participates in SkillsUSA, a competition between the students where they must complete a task given to them by professionals of that career field. In the local competition, they have placements from first to third, and when they place, the next steps are regionals, and then nationals.  


For the culinary arts competition, the students start out by demonstrating knife cuts to show proper form and handling. Next, the students must show a medium dice of potatoes, which means they cut the potato to be about the size of the middle fingernail. Then, they had to break a whole chicken into wings, legs, thighs, and breast. Finally, the students can begin working on their dish. To finish, they were to prepare a dish of chicken breast, sauce dijonnaise, rice pilaf, and green beans. The judges taste the food and observe the fundamentals of the students, then let them know their placings.


Truelove indicates that the most difficult part of the competition was making sure that the food was prepared at the correct temperature- the food can look great when the temperature is just a little off, then they will not place in the top three.


Truelove expressed that he works very hard to become the very best chef that he can be, and that after high school he is going to attend Johnson & Wales University to become a professional in culinary arts.


After college, Truelove mentioned that he wants to be hired as a chief chef for a five-star restaurant: “I would love to work with all types of food to broaden my style and expertise with different types of food.” For now, Truelove is going to regionals to compete once more to try and make it to nationals.


Trevor Wheelock, a senior at Oakdale High School and a student in the CAD Engineering program, stated: “These competitions are not as easy as many would think. When you think of CAD Engineering you probably think of building things, but that is not what these competitions are about. You must show all of your knowledge from basics to the actual building.” Wheelock then indicated that he “performed exceptionally well,” though he did not place in the top three this year, telling that this “proves how difficult these competitions are.”   


Truelove, a very talented chef, expresses great pride in representing Oakdale in his speciality of culinary arts. Let’s wish him good luck for the rest of the SkillsUSA competitions, in hope of bringing home a First place from nationals.