Skills USA Competitor

SKILLS COMPONENT: Meat Fabrication Each contestant will have Proteins in their market basket that need to be fabricated. They should be done in the best possible manner appropriate for their menu and use. SKILLS COMPONENT: VEGETABLE CUTS Prepare a minimum of 5 different cuts that will be used in your menu - they can include, but are not limited to: Mince, Chop, Brunoise, Julienne, Batonnet, Dice (all sizes), Concassee', SKILLS COMPONENT: SALAD Prepare a green type salad with appropriate garnishes and dressing in compliance with the criteria listed below. SKILLS COMPONENT: Entrée, Sauce, Starch, Vegetable Prepare two entrees of choice each using a different cooking method. Vegetables and starches should also demonstrate different cooking methods. A minimum of 4 different cooking methods must be used in the two entrees

Certified Culinarian

To qualify for the Certified Culinarian (CC) Ailene took an exam through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) she met the basic employment and education qualifications. Ailene submitted documentation that proves she have taken three specific culinary related classes. Once this was completed, Ailene took the written and practical exams and obtained her certification.

1st Place 2016 Skills USA State Competition

On April 21 and 22 2016, students from across the state competed in the 33rd annual Louisiana SkillsUSA championships hosted by Northwest Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

More than 145 community and technical college students matched their abilities against their peers' in various career and technical education contests, which were designed and judged by over 50experts from local labor and industry.

SOWELA Technical Community College

Alyson Mier, Customer Service, Silver
Amber Woods, Advertising Design, Gold
Katelyn Vincent, Advertising Design, Silver
Lacey Levine, Advertising Design, Bronze
Kortney Istre, Commercial Baking, Gold
Kelsey Pender, Commercial Baking, Silver
Ailene Butler, Culinary Arts, Gold
Brandon Marsh, Culinary Arts, Bronze
Brooklin Alexander, Photography, Gold
Amber Woods, State Pin Design, Gold
Lacey Levine, State Pin Design, Silver
Natalie Hoffpauir, State T-Shirt Design, Gold

Lead Cook

Ailene began working in restaurants as soon as she graduated from Sowela Community College. She settled in with Embers Restaurant at the L'Auberge Casino. Within three years she was the lead cook.


Ailene arrived in the United States from the Philippines in November 2015. She was so happy to be in America where she could fulfil her dreams. She had her Permanent Residence status and her Social Security card and was ready to go. She enrolled at Sowela Community College in Lake Charles and obtained a degree in culinary arts. She was on the Sowela Community College Dean's List and was awarded a Culinary Arts Gold Medal at the 2016 Skills USA State Competition. Married and with many Filipino and American friends she was celebrated for her cooking in her kitchen and inviting all her friends over to eat and enjoy. Ailene and her husband, Rick enjoyed tasting ethic cuisine at food trucks through out the USA and planned of owning one someday. That day occurred in April 2020 when their custom-built food trailer was ordered, and the company was named Ailene's Asian Grill. After 16 weeks the trailer was complete and after a long drive from Lake Charles to Tampa Florida to pick the trailer up Ailene's dream became a reality.