In its goal to continue growing the organisation, in May 2018 the Cook & Chef Institute Foundation held its Ist International competition among cookery schools in Panama. The competition took place among some of the schools sponsored by the foundation: the Universidad Interamericana de Panamá, Universidad Santa María la Antigua, The Panamá International Hotel School, the Instituto de Artes Culinarias Mise en Place, the Instituto Superior Tagua and the Instituto Superior de Alta Cocina.
The competition was a roaring success. Throughout the month, the schools competed internally to put forward one student to represent each of them in the grand finale, which was held on 27 May and was won by Domenica Argüello from the Mise en Place school.
The prize for the winner was to become a new Junior Ambassador for the Cook & Chef Institute and spend the whole year training in the kitchens of the prestigious members of the jury. This latter comprised renowned chefs including José Tomás Rojas, Rolando González, Luis Castillo and Randy Siles, in addition to Pablo Jaén, Raúl Camacho, Katyuska Martínez and Sara Chen.