VHS team takes second place at ProStart Competition

Teams of students from the Sioux Falls Career and Technical Education Academy took top honors at the 4th Annual South Dakota ProStart Competition, held at Mitchell Technical Institute on March 22. The students will travel to Overland Park, Kansas April 29-May 1 to participate in the National ProStart Invitational, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The culinary team prior to the competition.

A Vermillion High School team took second place in the Management portion of the competition.

Teams from Britton-Hecla, Huron, Lake Area Multi-District in Watertown, McIntosh, Mitchell, Sioux Falls CTE Academy and Vermillion participated in the ProStart Competition, which tested students on culinary and business management knowledge and skills. The teams were judged by chefs, hospitality industry professionals, and foodservice instructors and suppliers.

The Vermillion High School Management team receives the 2nd place trophy from South Dakota Retailers Association Board President Jeff Jackson.

ProStart is a high school business management curriculum created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Through the program, high school students learn business math, nutrition, workplace safety, cooking skills, customer service, cost planning, labor costs, inventory control, and other business basics. South Dakota is one of 47 states and territories which offer the ProStart curriculum to high schools.

At the competition, students are tested on the skills they have learned in class. The competition is composed of two main areas: culinary and management. In the culinary competition, each team demonstrated their creative abilities through the preparation of a three course meal. The teams are limited on the time they may spend on the meal preparation, and they had to follow strict rules on preparation and cleanup. The teams were judged on work skills, safety, sanitation, knife skills, presentation, menu, and product taste.

During the management portion of the competition, the teams demonstrated their business planning and communication skills by developing a plan for a restaurant, including the restaurant concept, facility design, staffing, menu, pricing and marketing. The plan was presented to a team of judges through a written plan, visual display and verbal presentation. The teams also demonstrated critical thinking skills by answering questions posed by the judges.

Here is the complete list of awards:

1st Place Culinary: Sioux Falls CTE Academy. Team members: Caleb Edblom, Matea Strong, Erin Walsh, and Amanda Williams, and alternate Skylar Setterholm (instructed by Lisa Wilber)

1st Place Management: Sioux Falls CTE Academy. Team members: Alex Neave, Dillon Schenkel, Erin Walsh and Amanda Williams, and alternate Tori Namanny (instructed by Lisa Wilber)

2nd Place Culinary: McIntosh High School. Team members: Casey Bridges, Jason Bunn, and Quinetta Hairy Chin Brown Otter (instructed by LaKisha Jordan)

2nd Place Management: Vermillion High School. Team members: Sophie Brown, Jacque Domina, Kylie Fischbach, and Ronnie Oakie (instructed by Ilene Lerseth)

Judges Award: Mitchell High School. This award is given in recognition of team spirit, attitude, effort and enthusiasm. Team members: Charles Rassel and Kaylynn Wee. (Instructor: Cindy Gerlach).

Presidents Award: Caleb Edblom, Sioux Falls CTE Academy (instructed by Lisa Wilber). This award is presented by the South Dakota Professional Chefs Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, for leadership skills during the competition. The award was presented by Chef Clark Braun of the Alpine Inn in Hill City.

Knife Skills Award: Anjelica Burghardt, Lake Area Multi-District (instructed by Sarah Perez). The Knife Skills Award was sponsored by Chef Randy Doescher of Mitchell.

Chicken Fabrication Award: Matea Strong, Sioux Falls CTE Academy (instructed by Lisa Wilber)

The ProStart Competition is a joint effort of the South Dakota Department of Education, the South Dakota Retailers Association, and the South Dakota ProStart Advisory Committee.

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