"To go into this competition is very much like a 'Top Chef' competition," said SCTC culinary arts instructor Kerrie Swain, comparing the high school event to timed culinary challenges similar to those featured on the Bravo reality show.
CTC's culinary and management team was one of 32 consisting of about 130 high school students throughout Missouri that demonstrated their skills last month at the ProStart Culinary and Management Competition at the East Central College Gymnasium in Union.
Teams prepared three-courses using their culinary knowledge, skills and creative abilities. However, they could use only two butane burners and no electric appliances with their working space confined to two folding tables.
Students were also given a time limit -- under two hours -- and had to use at least four different cooking styles to prepare the meal. A portion of the competition also required two team members to fabricate (cut up a whole) chicken while the other two were assigned another task.
The competition was judged by leaders from the foodservice industry and leading colleges and universities. The meals judged on cooking technique, finishing on time and also taste and presentation of the food. There is an element of art involved, Swain added.
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