Chief Leschi High School Culinary Students Win Third Place at Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational


Contact: Heather Donahoe
Public Relations Coordinator

– The Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation announced today that the students from Chief Leschi earned third place honors in the culinary competition at the tenth annual Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational on Saturday, March 6, at South Seattle Community College.

Chief Leschi’s four-student culinary team earned the award by preparing a menu of seared sea scallops layered with spinach-scallop mixture and sautéed mushrooms, pan-fried medium-rare duck breast with a savory rhubarb sauce, along with a dessert of a lightly sweet lemon cream cheese whipped cream with berries and almond granola. Chief Leschi’s culinary team consists of students Jacob Cultee, Vicki Murray, Phillip James, Danielle Yazzie and alternate Demetrie Fouch.

Chief Leschi’s ProStart class is led by teacher Jan Larsen.

The annual Invitational gives students a chance to showcase their talents in cooking, knife skills and restaurant management proficiency in front of judges who hold prominent positions in the culinary world.

“Being able to watch these students at the beginning of their careers is pretty fascinating,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the WRA, at Saturday’s event. “It’s amazing to think that one of the next culinary geniuses of our time maybe have competed in this competition.”

Saturday’s Invitational allowed teams from 22 high schools in Washington to compete for more than $270,000 in scholarships offered by the New England Culinary Institute, Le Cordon Bleu, Oregon Culinary Institute, Johnson and Wales and The Culinary Institute of America.

Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor and Newport High School in Bellevue won first and second place respectively in the culinary competition.

The Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational is part of a two-year program aimed at helping high school students launch successful careers in one of Washington’s leading industries. The ProStart program, which was created by the National Restaurant Association, is managed locally by the WRA Education Foundation in partnership with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The program is taught in more than 50 schools across the state.

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