ANDERSON — The Anderson District 1 and District 2 Career and Technology Center’s culinary team won its third consecutive South Carolina ProStart Invitational, a two-day competition for high school culinary arts and restaurant management teams.
The competition was held March 18 at the North Charleston Embassy Suites and Convention Center.
Seniors Claudia Hughes of Wren High and Taylor Meinke of Powdersville High led the team along with juniors Matt Long of Powdersville High and Codie Owens of Wren High. The students began practicing with their instructor Chris Moree in October and planned a meal themed on using goat in each course.
The appetizer highlighted goat sweetbreads with an oyster mushroom ragout and carrot panna cotta. The entrée included a seared goat loin, Brussels sprout and apple hash, with a golden beet puree, and the dessert showcased a goat cheese and pear charlotte with a raspberry goat milk shake.
The goal of the ProStart Program is to introduce high school students to the broad spectrum of career opportunities in the hospitality industry, to provide industry-relevant curriculum materials for high school classes in restaurant management and culinary arts, and to address the short and long term workforce needs of the industry by providing student workers and career employees.
Participating teams from schools across South Carolina design, cost-out, prepare and serve a three-course meal using only two butane burners. All this is done without electricity, running water, or help from anyone other than team members.
They prepare amazing gourmet meals that are judged by certified chefs using industry standards – all in just 60 minutes.
“This opportunity has given me a real view of rush hour in restaurants, and only fuels my excitement about my future in the hospitality industry,” said senior Claudia Hughes.
The ACTC team received scholarships, medals, and a trophy to display at their school. They also receive the opportunity to represent their school and South Carolina at the National ProStart Invitational in Minneapolis from May 2 through May 4.
“We came so close to being in the top five at nationals last year, I’m glad we have another opportunity compete and improve this year,” said team member Taylor Meinke, a senior.