Milton Hershey School® students won first place in the Pennsylvania ProStart Culinary Invitational, held in State College on Feb. 25. It was hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in conjunction with the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association.
“We are incredibly proud of the students. They dedicated a lot of time preparing for this competition,” said MHS Culinary Arts Teacher Brad Jennings. “It’s also a great way for the students to get industry connections for when they start to work.”
MHS juniors Shamar Foster and Bailee Samlal and sophomores Alayzah Thompson and Jacob Reynolds were honored with the top award in the management category. The group successfully created a three-course meal in under an hour using only two butane burners.
“Winning the competition made me feel accomplished. All of our hard work has paid off, from every long practice to all the preparations,” said sophomore Alayzah Thompson.
The Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management Services career field is one of 11 areas offered in the MHS Career/Technical Education program. In the last three years, 100 percent of high school seniors graduated with at least one industry-recognized certification.
Each of the winning students received more than $13,000 toward a scholarship to be used with one of six culinary schools located throughout the country. The students will compete in the National ProStart Invitational in Anaheim, Ca.
“I plan on going into the field of culinary arts field. By being a part of the ProStart team, it sets me apart from other culinary students. I learned a lot from this competition, and got a taste of the competitive side of culinary arts. I improved on my teamwork skills and learned how to efficiently communicate with others,” junior Bailee Samlal said.