LHS Culinary Arts Competition Teams
Culinary competition teams from Lejeune High School recently competed in the 2014 North Carolina ProStart Invitational (NCPI). The Management Team placed third and the Culinary Team placed fourth.
In collaboration with all of the students in the culinary classes, the teams worked for months preparing for the competition. The NCPI gives the participating students the opportunity to display their skills and knowledge acquired in the Levels I and II Culinary Arts classes.
The teams developed a theme which included a business proposal for a restaurant, menu, marketing elements, design and the preparation of a full four-course meal. The students were judged by professionals from the food service industry which included the Darden Group (Longhorn, Red Lobster) and Golden Corral. The culinary team was judged by chefs from Johnson and Wales University, The Art Institute, Cordon Bleu, and the Culinary Academy. This year's teams were very young and new to the competition arena; however, their performances were remarkable, according to the judges. They accepted the challenge, stepped up to the plate and were superb in every aspect of the competition.
The first task for the students in class was to decide on the type of restaurant that would represent who the students were. Since the students are so diverse in ethnicity and are well-traveled throughout the country and the world, they decided that the restaurant would be one of a variety of cuisines. The development of the restaurant, "Lil' Bit of Everything" was the most important task. Then the students developed a menu with recipes, calculated recipe costs and determined menu prices. The design and a summary of the major components of the restaurant were placed on a trifold as a visual display. The management team gave an oral power point presentation to the panel of judges.
The culinary team's goal was to bring the menu of the management team to kitchen. They had to check in all of their ingredients, which had to be properly stored in containers and labeled by names and quantities. Protein, vegetables and dairy products had to be at the correct temperatures and kept separate to prevent cross contamination. Once the team checked in, they were given three hours and 45 minutes. During this time, they had to arrange the ingredients to be used to prepare the menu items. When that was done, they had to prepare a four-course meal without electricity, running water, or refrigeration, and execute all sanitation and safe food handling procedures.
Both teams earned scholarships that exceeded $130,000.