ProStart Students Prepare for Nationals

Culinary Arts Team: Zach Lohner, Ben Dickerson, Fletcher Tingle, Jared Holliday, Morgan Hoeg (Alternate), Lucas Rounds (2nd Alternate)

Foodservice Management Team: Morgan Hoeg, Maggie Hollander, Alyssa Campbell, Jose Matamoros, Fletcher Tingle (Alternate)

Watercress Avocado Salad – Freshly picked watercress mixed with spring greens, brunoised bosc pears, sliced avocados and cherry tomatoes. Served in a radicchio bowl with a spicy vinaigrette.

Peking Pork Medallions – Tender cuts of center pork loin, pan-fried and served over a jasmine rice cake with ginger carrots.

Chocolate-Banana Wontons – A fried wonton filled with white chocolate and freshly sliced bananas. Garnished with homemade whipped cream and a creamy chocolate sauce.

Waukee's culinary team finishes three-course meal with time to spare.

Waukee High School students competed in the state 2012 Iowa ProStart Invitational on Feb. 27. Students placed first in the culinary arts and foodservice management divisions of the competition, which was held at the Iowa Culinary Institute at DMACC Ankeny campus.

ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students. It brings the restaurant industry into the classroom with curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and management skills.

Waterloo East, Des Moines Central and Davenport also competed in the competition.  Waukee students will advance to the national competition, which will be held April 27-29 in Baltimore Maryland at the Baltimore Marriott Water front hotel.

To help pay for the trip, students are holding a ProStart Casseroles and More fundraiser. Parents and community members can help send ProStart students to nationals by ordering items from The Warrior Bakeshop menu. The menu is available by clicking here.

Cavatini, Chicken Fettucini, Apple Pie and Sugar cookies are a few of the items that can be ordered. Casserole meals can be purchased in company, family or couple size.

Students hope to raise at least $4,000 to offset the expense of participating in a national competition.

2012 Iowa ProStart Invitational

Participants in the culinary competition were given 60 minutes to complete a three-course meal. Each school must select a team of two to four members to represent them and as well as choose the meal they would like to prepare.

As a class, Waukee students decided to create an Asian inspired themed meal which featured watercress avocado salad, peking pork medallions and chocolate-banana wontons for desert. Juniors Ben Dickerson, Fletcher Tingle, Zach Lohner and senior Jared Holliday were chosen to represent Waukee and prepared the meal using a combination of steaming, pan-frying and deep fat frying to prepare the meal. Ovens are not available for the competition so students must work with two butane burners.

Only students who have completed Culinary 1, Culinary 2, ProStart 1 and are enrolled in ProStart 2 are eligible to qualify for the competition. Selection for the competition team is skills based.

“Students must demonstrate they are able to work together in a team, and show proficiency in fabricating chicken and knife skills,” said Laura Calvert Waukee High School Family and Consumer Sciences Instructor. “I also assess their pallet. It’s important for them to be able to pair different foods and ingredients that taste good.”

Culinary teams are evaluated on shipping and receiving, knife skills, poultry fabrication, team presentation/work skills/organization, safety and sanitation, product taste, finished product and menu and recipe presentation. Their performance is observed and rated by judges from leading colleges and universities.

Teams who participated in the foodservice management competition demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant proposal, delivering a verbal presentation, and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations. Seniors Maggie Hollander, Alyssa Campbell, Morgan Hoeg and junior Jose Matamoros, were selected to compete in this division.

ProStart is a certificate-based class. If students pass both ProStart classes, the national test and complete 400 hours of mentoring with a culinary chef they could start culinary school with 9 credit hours completed.

560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701