SCTC culinary arts students whip up win at competition

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Sikeston Career and Technology Center culinary arts student Angel Simmons, above, helps places a dish of watermelon salad on a tray Tuesday in the culinary arts kitchen. Simmons served as the alternate of SCTC's team that placed 10th out of 32 teams last month at the Missouri ProStart Culinary and Management Competition for high school students in Union. Leonna Heuring, Staff

SIKESTON -- A team of culinary arts students from Sikeston Career and Technology Center recently sharpened their skills after finishing in the top 10 of a statewide competition.

"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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