Students Cook Up Winning Menu at State Competition
Posted: March 14, 2002
Cooking at the Greenbrier is a dream for many culinary artists, but that dream came true for several high school students when they competed in the First Annual Pro Start Culinary Competition. The competition, held March 8 and 9, at the Culinary Arts Center, in the former bunker at the Greenbrier Resort, is part of the West Virginia Department of Educationís Hospitality Education and Training Program. Pro-Start, a restaurant management and culinary program developed by the National Restaurant Association, has 40 programs throughout the state.
With limited equipment supplied by the event organizers, the teams were allowed to bring in their own utensils and other equipment. Student teams, who were judged on teamwork, safety and sanitation, presentation and, of course, taste, had one hour to prepare a mouth-watering gourmet menu that was planned in advance.
Fayette Plateau Vo-Tech School took top honors at the event with their menu consisting of Pan Fried West Virginia Trout with Lemon Chive Beurre Blanc Sauce, Country Ham Risotto and Sauteed Green Asparagus. Placing second was the Putnam County Career and Technical Center, which prepared a Pan Seared Salmon Fillet with Red Pepper Coulis, Lemon Risotto and Asparagus. Greenbrier East High School followed in third place with their menu of Beef Tenderloin with sauteed shrimp, Mushroom Ragout, Huricot Verte Bundles and Boursin Cream Sauce.
Each member of the first place team was awarded a $3,000 renewable scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and a $3,000 renewable scholarship to Johnson and Wales University (JWU), another prestigious culinary school. Members of the Putnam County Career Center team each received a $2,000 renewable scholarship from CIA and a $1,000 renewable scholarship from JWU. Greenbrier East Team members were each awarded a $1,500 renewable scholarship from CIA and a $500 renewable scholarship from JWU.
The Fayette County team also took home the Hospitality Cup, which will be awarded to future winning teams of the competition. Members of the first, second and third placed teams each received a medal and their schools received a golden plate to be displayed at the schools.
In May, the winning team will travel to Denver, Colorado to compete in the national competition with Pro Start teams from 18 other states.
Other teams who participated in the event were the Wood County Technical Center, Mason County Tech Center and John Marshall High School from Moundsville.
So no one left empty handed, all participants received a certificate of participation, as well as accommodations at the luxurious Greenbrier Resort, including dinner in the main dining room. The contestants also had the opportunity to tour the kitchens at the resort.
The judges for the competition included Denise Baxter, culinarian at the CIA, Chef Robert Wong, former executive chef at the Greenbrier and current executive chef at Glade Springs Resort, and Chef Peter Timmins, Master Chef at the Greenbrier.