Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez shows his ribs during the fourth annual Texas High School BBQ Championship, held May 3-4 at Burnet High School. Rodriguez competed alone but did well enough to place 11th overall against 67 teams, which had as many as five members. This was his second top-11 finish at a state-level competition – Rodriguez placed fourth out of 36 contestants at the SkillsUSA Texas State Culinary Arts Contest, held April 4-7 in Corpus Christi. (CFISD courtesy photo)
Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez shows his ribs during the fourth annual Texas High School BBQ Championship, held May 3-4 at Burnet High School. Rodriguez competed alone but did well enough to place 11th overall against 67 teams, which had as many as five members. This was his second top-11 finish at a state-level competition – Rodriguez placed fourth out of 36 contestants at the SkillsUSA Texas State Culinary Arts Contest, held April 4-7 in Corpus Christi. (CFISD courtesy photo)
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CYPRESS TEXAS — Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez recently placed 11th at the fourth annual Texas High School BBQ Championship, his second consecutive top-11 finish. Rodriguez once again competed alone in the team competition and accomplished what other teams did with as many as five team members.

It’s also the second top finish at a state-level competition for Rodriguez within a month’s span – he placed fourth out of 36 entries at the SkillsUSA Texas State Culinary Arts Contest in April.

Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez prepares chicken at the SkillsUSA Texas State Culinary Arts Contest, held April 4-7 in Corpus Christi. Rodriguez placed fourth out of 36 contestants. The competition included skills components in preparing and handling food items, safety and sanitation, and a written test.Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez prepares chicken at the SkillsUSA Texas State Culinary Arts Contest, held April 4-7 in Corpus Christi. Rodriguez placed fourth out of 36 contestants. The competition included skills components in preparing and handling food items, safety and sanitation, and a written test.

“I call David my ‘Boy Wonder,’” said Kara Palermo, CFISD Culinary Academy–East instructor. “David is successful because he can take constructive criticism. He is mature enough to take the advice and then corrects to perfect his techniques. He also is willing and wants to help others, he is well-liked by all his peers.”

The Texas High School BBQ Championship was held May 3-4 at Burnet High School, with nearly 70 teams from across the state competing in different categories combining culinary and welding skills, agriculture, fashion and school spirit. Participants combined a classic Texas tradition while showcasing the education they gained during the 2018-2019 school year in their career and technical education (CTE) classes.

Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez earned three top-10 finishes at the fourth annual Texas High School BBQ Championship, with a fourth-place finish in beans. Rodriguez competed solo in the team format, placing 11th overall among 67 teams.Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez earned three top-10 finishes at the fourth annual Texas High School BBQ Championship, with a fourth-place finish in beans. Rodriguez competed solo in the team format, placing 11th overall among 67 teams.

Rodriguez competed under the team name Up in Smoke, earned three top-10 finishes and added his 11th-place finish to the eighth-place award he garnered last year. In the competition, Rodriguez finished fourth in beans, eighth in ribs and 10th in chicken.

Rodriguez earned his state berth following regional competition April 13-14 at Conroe High School. He placed fifth overall out of 17 teams, again competing solo against teams with up to five team members. He earned four top-10 finishes.

“David is extremely focused,” Palermo said. “David is a well-rounded cook. Some people are good with meats, some with sides and appetizers and some with desserts. He is the whole package.”

Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez (left) poses with his father, Rito Rodriguez (right), and Kara Palermo, CFISD culinary academy east instructor, following his fifth-place showing at the Texas High School BBQ Cook Off regional competition April 13-14 at Conroe High School. Rodriguez placed fifth overall out of 17 teams, again competing solo against teams with up to five team members.

Cypress Creek High School senior David Rodriguez (left) poses with his father, Rito Rodriguez (right), and Kara Palermo, CFISD culinary academy east instructor, following his fifth-place showing at the Texas High School BBQ Cook Off regional competition April 13-14 at Conroe High School. Rodriguez placed fifth overall out of 17 teams, again competing solo against teams with up to five team members.

At the SkillsUSA Texas State Culinary Arts Contest, held April 4-7 in Corpus Christi, Rodriguez placed fourth out of 36 contestants. The competition included skills components in preparing and handling food items, safety and sanitation, and a written test. He was also awarded the Hospitality Educators of Texas Scholarship valued at $1,000.

Rodriguez is planning to attend the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin this fall.

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