Who Will Win The Top Chef Challenge?

Join the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce as we participate in one of the most exciting scholarship programs the Chamber has offered.  This year, scholarship funding will go to the top 3 contestants from East Lee County High School's Culinary program. 

Headed by Chef Arthur Phillips, on April 2nd, three students will square off in the Top Chef Challenge at East Lee County H.S., to put their skills to the test. They will be judged on their creation of an Entree and a desert and will have to use ingredients from the 'mystery basket'.

Since September, students have been competing for this competition, and the finalists (in no particular order) are:

Tori McNear

Tori McNear
 My name is Tori McNear and I am in 12th grade at East Lee County High School. I am 18 years old. I have been involved in the culinary arts program for 3 years. I am certified as a Food Safe Food Protection Manager and are currently employed at Jason’s Deli. After high school I plan to attend college and major in management and minor in a culinary degree. My goal is to become a catering coordinator as well as working in marketing with the catering business.

Virginia Reyes

Virginia Reyes
My name is Virginia Reyes, and I am in the 12th grade at East Lee County High School. I am 18 years old, and I have been involved in the Culinary Arts program for 3 years. My goal is to pass the Food Safety Manager test once I graduate. My future career plan is to be a pastry chef. I love to bake and I want to do more in that!

Caricia Rodriguez

Caricia Rodriguez
My name is Caricia Rodriguez. I am 18 years old and a senior at East Lee County High School. I have been in the Culinary Arts program for 3 years and working on becoming certified for the food protection manger test. I have been in AVID for 4 years. My goals after graduation are to attend Florida Gulf Coast University where I will major in the Hospitality Management. My dream is to one day open my own restaurant to the people.

Chef Phillips

Hello, I am Arthur Phillips. I have been a culinary instructor here at East lee County High School for 3 years. I am a native of Florida, born in Bonita Springs. I graduated from Florida Culinary Academy with a Degree in Culinary Arts in Nutrition and also a Degree in International Baking and Pastry’s. Prior to becoming an instructor, I worked at private country clubs for 25 years.

We are looking forward to the Top Chef Challenge. The Chamber presented this idea to us this year as a way in which to award Educational Scholarship monies to our students, and we loved the idea!

Many thanks to those who are sponsoring this event to bring even more scholarship opportunities to our students.


- Chef Phillips

Top Chef Challenge Sponsor

Click one of the amounts below to make a donation to the Top Chef Challenge.