AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — caught up with two seniors, Sierra Loya, and Chris Perez, from the AmTech BBQ Competition Team to discuss their recent win and their plans for the future.

Rhonda Obenhaus, Amtech culinary arts teacher said that both Amtech seniors, Loya and Perez have both been great students to have on the Amtech BBQ team.

“Sierra has carried the entire team this year with her ribs. She does an excellent job in preparing those and she is always willing to try new recipes or to try new things. So, she has been a great learner and leader,” said Obenhaus. “Chris as well he is enthusiastic. He loves the whole concept of BBQ, and he has been really motivational to the rest of the team members this year. So, I feel like as leadership they have set the standard for what our future teams are going to be.”

Loya said that she wanted to give culinary a try from a young age, she has had a love for cooking.

“When I started culinary, I just told her, I wanted to be involved in everything, whatever it was, whether it was baking, you’re going to meetings about culinary like anything that involves me in just being out. And so, I was like, well, maybe something I should try,” said Loya. “Maybe I’m good at it. I like to be around smokers and barbecues. And so, I was like, why not? Let’s try it.”

Loya said one of her favorite things to make, is anything involving baking such as cookies or other desserts. She said that she plans to attend culinary school in Houston.

Perez said that his biggest inspiration for cooking comes from two important women in his life.

“I think my mom for sure. My mom and my grandma, they always, they’re good cooks. And you know, they always showed me how to do stuff. And from like a young age, like my mom was a single mom for a long time. So, like cooking, I’d help her out with that. And it just kind of like introduced me to it and I fell in love with it,” said Perez.

Perez said that he loves to see how his meals make people around him feel happy.

“That is the main thing that I cook for like to see someone’s reaction to see the joy that I was able to cause in someone else’s life like with a meal because a meal means everything that people honestly nowadays, and if you can’t have a good meal, you don’t have a good time and having a good meal is what makes your day,” said Perez.

Perez said that he loves to cook Asian-themed dishes such as Dargon noodles. He said that after graduation he plans to open his own restaurant so that he can continue his love for cooking.

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