Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wando High School Wins State ProStart Competition

The Wando High School Culinary Arts program won the State Championship for the second year in a row at the annual Hard Rock Park© ProStart Invitational cooking competition January 28-29, 2008 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Wando competed against 20 other South Carolina high schools in a competition requiring a 3 course meal cooked in one hour over two butane burners.
Team members from left to right are seniors Leila Schardt, Chelsea Wright, and Justin Edgar, and sophmore alternate Sullivan Johnston.

The team was mentored by Chef Robert Carter of the Peninsula Grill, who was named South Carolina’s ProStart© Mentor of the Year for 2008. Team coach Julian Buckner, C.C.E.E., C.C.E., was also named a ProStart teacher of Excellence by the National Restaurant Association, an honor bestowed on only 30 of the over 1600 ProStart teachers teaching 60,000 ProStart students.

Starter:Seared Shrimp and Scallop on a Luscious Grit Crouton with Chiffonnade of Spinach and a Red Pepper Vinaigrette

Entree: Carolina Black Grouper Wrapped in Parma Ham with an Onion-Arugula Slaw on a Morel - Sweet Potato Succotash and Tomato Butter Sauce

Cinnamon-Buttermilk Panna Cotta with a White Chocolate Crisp, Fresh Berries and a Blackberry Coulis

The format of the competition is in both Management and Culinary Arts. The Management competition involves case studies and a knowledge bowl. Charleston County’s Garrett Academy placed second.

Also during the Myrtle Beach competition, Coach’s Low Country Brands, a major sponsor of both state and national ProStart competitions, and BiLo held a separate competition with a recipe contest using LCB’s and Bi-Lo’s products. Both management and culinary teams were asked to submit recipes. Wando’s culinary team took first place and the management team took third place. Chelsea Wright and Leila Schardt were culinary winners. The winning members of the management team were Justin Edgar, Sullivan Johnston, Michael Friedrich, and Walter Ziegler.
The Wando High School team will represent South Carolina at the seventh annual National ProStart Invitational from April 24-26th, at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. In 2007, $1.3 million in scholarships were awarded to winning students.

The ProStart program career-building program was developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and is managed nationally by National Restaurant Association Solutions in conjunction with state restaurant associations. This partnership brings restaurant and foodservice operators, educators, and government officials together to coordinate the program in each state. The ProStart program is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. When students pass two national exams, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. For more information on the ProStart program and National ProStart Invitational, please visit http://www.weareprostart.org/.

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