SOUTH WEBER -- It was like the "Hell's Kitchen" reality TV show, only without Gordon Ramsey cursing and spewing at them for every misstep.
But there was a lot of pressure regardless when a group of Weber Basin Job Corps culinary art students swept an 18-team regional competition recently at Little Rock, Ark.
The team of four took first place trophies in taste, presentation and originality, leading to its clinching the top spot for best overall Job Corps Center.
"It was a lot of fun and very challenging," said Brittany Alcala, 18. "Trying to keep track of the time while we were cooking was probably the most challenging thing, because we usually don't have to do that."
Bryton Vernon, 17, said the mystery category was probably the most challenging event at the competition in his opinion.
"We found out the night before what we had to do," he said. "We were given beef tenderloin and a rack of lamb and we had to come up with a complete menu by the next morning."
The students competed in a two-round competition, said Weber Basin Job Corps culinary arts instructor Jack Jones. Each round consisted making an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert.
"They moved from 18 teams to the top six," Jones said. "And then they were fortunate enough to come away with the entire contest."
Kelsea Boyle, 17, said winning the competition gave her more confidence in her cooking skills.
"It made me feel really good because we put a lot of effort into it. It definitely made me feel more confident with my skills and being in the culinary program," she said. "I think cutting the salmon was probably my favorite part because I had to skin it, pull all the bones out and then portion it out."
Shaun Stone-Gerardy, 20, who was a team assistant, said it was challenging to keep track of everything.
"So much was going on," he said. "I had to make sure everyone was taken care of and keep focused on my own cooking at the same time."
Each of the students hopes to become a professional chef.
"I would really like to own my own bakery shop one day," Alcala said.
Stone-Gerardy said when cooking it's important to try new things and cook from the heart.
"I just follow my gut and cook from the heart," he said. "And the food usually turns out really good."