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KC students prepare to represent the "Show-Me" state at national culinary competition

Herndon Career Center ready to send their culinary team to National ProStart Invitational
Posted at 6:28 AM, Mar 14, 2024

RAYTOWN, Mo — In just a few weeks the Herndon Career Center culinary team will be representing the state of Missouri in the upcomingNational Pro Start Invitational. Nearly 400 students from across the country will put their skills to the test in front of industry leaders and top American chefs with hopes of winning scholarships to the nations top culinary and restaurant management programs.

Herndon students have placed first place at state every year since 2018 and have taken home first place at nationals in 2018.

"This is the Super Bowl for the students and probably one of the biggest competitions that they'll have in their high school career”," said instructor Chef Mike Chrostowski, Culinary Arts Instructor, "we’re cooking food well beyond their years, at the end of the night they’re tired cranky in some cases but they are super rewarded with what they just accomplished.”

However, the road to nationals won't be a piece of cake. Students will be practicing before and after school while playing close attention to detail, presentation, running drills against a clock and following strict orders.

“It reminds me of chopped. I feel like we are on a cooking show every time we practice," said
Ellyson Drake, student at Herndon Career Center.

Chef Chrostowski says the competition will judge students on skills, presentation, technicality, sanitation and taste.

“I’ve learned so much throughout this program and want to continue and own my own bakery one day," said Drake.

Herndon is home to a student-run restaurant where people can make reservations and support students. To learn more visit their website.