Oak Harbor teens win premier youth culinary competition

Oak Harbor teens win premier youth culinary competition

LAKEWOOD, WASH. – Oak Harbor High School took first place in the It is the premier youth culinary competition in the state. And local restaurateur, Scott Fraser of Frasers Gourmet Hideaway also took home Mentor of the Year.

Future master chefs and entrepreneurs went head-to-head in the kitchen and the board room at the 2017 Washington ProStart Invitational on Feb. 18, at the McGavick Conference Center. Locals from Oak Harbor came out on top.

Now these hometown kids get to hop a plane and compete for scholarships and honors at the National ProStart Invitational, April 28-30 in Charleston, South Carolina.

During the event, groups of four students, accompanied by a mentor and educator, prepare a three-course meal in just 60 minutes using only two butane burners and no running water or electricity.

In the management portion of the contest, the teens present a comprehensive business plan to open their restaurant and manage daily operations.

Professional restaurateurs, hoteliers and chefs in the industry serve as judges, blending praise and ideas for growth.

“The local students who are competing at ProStart are amazing,” said Naja Hogander, the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation’s manager. “They impress celebrated chefs with their work. ProStart is vital to creating rising stars of our industry.”

The competition was fierce and included participants from all four corners of Washington State.

The Hospitality Association’s Education Foundation facilitates ProStart each year. The two-year hospitality program develops culinary techniques and management skills in high school students. Washington’s program serves more than 1,500 high school students per year. Students who complete 400 hours of industry work experience and pass both ProStart exams can attain a nationally recognized Certificate of Achievement, applicable toward scholarship opportunities and tuition reductions.

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2017 Winners

Culinary

First Place: Oak Harbor High School

Second Place: Bonney Lake High School

Third Place: Heritage High School, Vancouver

Management

First Place: Lewis & Clark High School, Spokane

Second Place: Bonney Lake High School

Third Place: Ferris High School, Spokane

Awards

Student of the Year: Katarina Ducharme (Ferris High School, Spokane)

Teacher of the Year: Joanie Pringle Jones (Mt. Spokane High School, Spokane)

Mentor of the Year: Scott Fraser (Frasers Gourmet Hideaway, Oak Harbor)