Culinary battle for Mount Si students

Mount Si High School culinary students showed off their food skills on Sunday, March 8, in Olympia, against students from across the state.

The competition, held at South Puget Sound Community College, tested the aspiring chefs’ skills in recipe creation, cooking and presentation.

The Snoqualmie students were among 300 high school students facing off in the 2009 Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational, which the Washington Restaurant Association hosted. The organization sponsors the ProStart program, a culinary curriculum, in about 50 high schools in the state. Winners from Sunday’s competition advanced to the national invitational.

The program teaches students real-world skills for the restaurant industry, including running a business.

“The people who’re behind the program want employees who are trained right,” Tarp said.

Mount Si junior George Noyes wants to be a cook.

“I figured, ‘Hey, I might as well go and do this,’ and get myself started; get myself in the industry early,” he said while practicing his poached salmon entree last week before the contest.

In addition to the cooking competition, there was a culinary knowledge bowl, which included questions about running a restaurant.

Sophomore Breanna Kelly competed in the knowledge bowl, but already has a possible recipe for next year — bacon-wrapped asparagus.

“I really like being under the pressure in the kitchen and getting all the orders done when they need to be done,” she said.

Liberty High School of Issaquah won the knowledge bowl, while the culinary competition was tied Sunday night between Moses Lake High School and Oak Harbor High School. The winner will be decided by a series of questions.

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