STEP culinary students show off talent in ‘Stars of the Future’ fundraiser

Two students in the Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) ProStart culinary program joined seven other high school teams in showcasing their cooking skills at the second annual “Stars of the Future” fundraiser Nov. 18 at the W Hotel in Minneapolis. The students worked with guest chef Bill King from CRAVE America to prepare and serve Mediterranean Shrimp Sauté to more than 100 attendees.STEPCulinary

STEP instructor Marjory Humbert was proud of her students’ performance at the event.

“The feedback we received was very positive and we ran out of food,” Humbert said. “This was a great experience for my students, working alongside some of the finest chefs in the Twin Cities area.”

Other teams participating in Stars of the Future represented Elk River, Forest Lake, Hopkins, Park Center, Rocori, St. Michael/Albertville, and Sauk Rapids-Rice. Those teams were mentored by respected chefs: Todd Bolton, Parasole Restaurant Holdings; Jamie Malone, Sea Change; Paul Lynch, Radisson Blu Mall of America; Tim McCarty, the Mayo Foundation; Tim McKee, La Belle Vie; Adrienne Odom, Parasole Bakery; and Michael Larson and Jeff Anderson, Eat Shop.

ProStart is a two-year program for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant industry. Besides receiving classroom instruction and hands-on training, many ProStart students also compete in Minnesota’s ProStart Invitational, which includes both culinary and management disciplines.

In the culinary competition, teams prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes using two butane burners; in the management competition, teams develop a restaurant concept based on specified criteria and present their menu, décor, price structure and marketing plan. Top teams in Minnesota’s competition receive awards and scholarships for a variety of culinary schools. Winners of Minnesota’s ProStart Invitational represent the state in the national competition; Stars of the Future raises funds to help Minnesota’s winning teams travel to the national competition.

The ProStart program in Minnesota is offered through the Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, which prepares the next generation of foodservice and lodging operators with industry training and scholarships. Learn more at: www.hospitalitymn.org/hmef.

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