Puyallup High School ProStart students Taylor Thompson, Amanda Bradeen, Casey Halifax, Rachel Shaffer and Nick Fox grabbed fifth place over the weekend in the culinary competition at the National ProStart Invitational in Overland Park, Kan.

The Puyallup team, which took first place earlier this spring in the state’s Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational in Spokane, competed Sunday against 315 student in teams from 38 other states Guam and Puerto Rico. The students reprised their winning menu of menu that included an appetizer of truffled goat cheese panna cotta, tomato piquant and fried roti, followed by a main entrée of lamb two ways: Pistachio-crusted lamb loin and fried parmesan polenta with shaved Brussels sprouts and lamb carpaccio and tomato and radish sprout salad with chive oil.

“It’s really gratifying to see our Washington ProStart students achieve on a national stage,” said Lyle Hildahl, director of the Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation. “Those students and their teacher, Chef Karri Selby, are remarkable examples of this industry’s training ground and the caliber of future professionals who are being developed for the workforce. Well done, Puyallup.”

Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF, said the students’ knowledge, skills and expertise were inspirational at the Sunday night awards gala.

“This is a tremendous achievement,” she said. “We have in this room top talent.”

Overall, the NRAEF awarded $1.1 million in scholarships to the five winning teams in each category. Additionally, several culinary schools and colleges offered scholarships to the top three teams in each category.

For more information about Sunday’s competition, including a list of the winning teams, check out the NRAEF’s coverage.

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Heather Donahoe