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ProStart Culinary Students Receive High Scores at State Invitational

Beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m., it was a long day of cooking, plating, business pitching and more at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center on February 24. Both the Culinary Hospitality and Business Management competitions saw 30 schools contend for first, second and third place to qualify for scholarships to various culinary and hospitality post-secondary degree programs.

Culinary contestants engaged in a battle of skill and knowledge by preparing three courses in one hour using only two butane burners. Points were awarded on specific criteria such as proper cooking procedures, safety and sanitation, presentation, product taste, menu pricing and teamwork. Management teams developed and pitched a business proposal for a new restaurant concept including a supporting menu, a marketing plan and a detailed design. Presentations were judged on menu concept, marketing and operations, menu pricing and critical thinking.

Restaurant owners, chefs, instructors, food and beverage purveyors, food writers and other industry professionals from all over Colorado served as judges. By the end of the evening, Westminster High School students received high scores from the judges although they did not place in the top three.

“For it being our first time here, I think we did an amazing job,” said Anita Cordova, a junior at Westminster High School. Watch the What’s Up WPS video above to get a glimpse into the intense competition.