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Skyridge senior headed to national SkillsUSA Championship



Aniston Blanchard is a senior at Skyridge High School who recently received her certification in Culinary Arts from Mountainland Technical College (MTECH). The 18-year-old also recently attended the state championship for SkillsUSA, the largest workforce development organization in the country. 

The state championship, held at Utah Valley University, is highly competitive. Blanchard placed first in the Baking and Pastry Arts category. Because she placed first, she advanced to the national championship, where she will compete in the same category. 

Her mom suggested that she look into MTECH (Mountainland Technical College) early in her high school career. Blanchard looked into some of the programs and opportunities and decided to pursue culinary arts. She baked here and there growing up, helping with bake sales and holidays, but got more serious and fell in love with it as she entered the program. 

“I love the program because I’ve connected with a lot of people who all have the same passion. I’ve definitely made some life-long friends. And with baking in general, I love how you can just put on some music and bake and add whatever you want to the recipe. You have to follow the rules, but there are certain things you can get creative with,” Blanchard said.

She competed in SkillsUSA at the state level in her junior year, placing fourth in the Baking and Pastry Arts category. She decided to give it another try this year, taking more time to prepare and won gold. 

The structure of the competition is demanding and precise. Each baker is given 10 recipes to make in eight hours. The recipes must be followed exactly. Judges look for the correct consistency, flavors, and presentation when reviewing completed items. Some of this year’s recipes included baguettes, scones, an apple galette and decorated cakes. The national competition includes the same recipes and more.

The national SkillsUSA Championship will take place in Atlanta, GA, at the end of June. Blanchard will travel with her parents and instructor to support her as she participates in the competition. She plans to attend UVU in the fall, majoring in culinary arts. 

“Aniston has always been a hard worker. She had her first job at Waffle Love at 14. She is currently one of the main bakers at Gooey Gourmet Brownies. The culinary program at MTECH was a great high school opportunity that provided a foundation for her on her road to owning her own dessert shop,” said Korey Blanchard, Blanchard’s dad. 


To learn more about the SkillsUSA Championship, visit To learn more about MTECH, visit

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