Culinary whirl westosha student chefs use teamwork, food science to whip up fare for competition food kenoshanews.com how to cook salmon fillet with skin

The student cooking brigade was competing against 21 other high schools in wisconsin in the wisconsin prostart student invitational culinary competition held at last week’s midwest foodservice expo at the wisconsin center, milwaukee.

Of the 22 schools, westosha came in sixth. While the team didn’t make the final cut, for them it was a win, said jamie lutz, faculty adviser for this year’s team. “previously our best was eighth place,” lutz said.

The team was chosen from students taking the culinary elective of the family and consumer science department. “(the competition) is optional and involves extra work and practices before and after school,” explained lutz, FACS instructor.

Also advising and helping with training were chefs anthony signa, from the school’s food service department, and matt susienka, a navy chef affiliated with the american culinary federation, which partners with prostart.


Sponsored by the national restaurant association educational foundation, prostart provides professional food service curriculum to high schools to prepare students for careers in the food industry.Food service winners of its competitions are eligible for a variety of scholarship opportunities.

Judging the young chefs were culinary experts from technical colleges, the food service industry, food trade organizations and the american culinary federation.

The march 13 culinary competition involved preparing a three-course meal to be judged on presentation, cooking procedures, knife skills and sanitation.

The student teams developed their menus with a budget of $75 and were required to assign each item a dollar amount for which it would be offered on a menu.

“they picked and chose from internet recipes and got input from their chef advisers on ingredients and recipes that would demonstrate various cooking techniques,” lutz said.

From appetizer to dessert, items showcased wisconsin-sourced products and ingredients such as lake michigan salmon, ribs from a paddock lake butcher, spices from penzeys spices, local maple syrup, wine and cheeses.Food service

The most challenging aspects of the competition were having to create gourmet grade dishes without benefit of a refrigerator or oven, said the students.

To compensate, the students came up with innovative solutions. To roast vegetables and make bacon and maple candied walnuts, they used a camp oven; instead of cooking salmon they brined it in salt and sugar.

Creating tender short ribs, which normally take over two hours, posed a particular challenge. Chef D.J. Smith, a junior, answered this with a pressure cooker.

The dessert, vanilla bean panna cotta, apple fritters and blackberry sauce, also presented a technical quandary. Panna cotta, a molded cream dessert, requires chilling to gel. To overcome the lack of refrigeration, student chef katelyn halladay came up with the idea of using iodized salt in an ice water bath to lower the temperature of the panna cotta faster.

To accomplish the feat of creating three intense dishes in an hour, team members were assigned to specific tasks.American culinary halladay was on dessert, smith on ribs and sauce, sager handled the appetizer prep and made sure the salmon cured correctly, and eleanor drosen, a junior, headed up the horseradish potatoes and the appetizer vinaigrette.

Points were also gained for individual knife skills. Each member of the westosha team demonstrated his or her proficiency in a particular slicing or dicing technique.

“it was really intimidating to see how the other teams plated their food and how calm and collected they were,” said chef anna sager, a senior.

Sager noted that she and her fellow teammates owe a debt of thanks to westosha’s FACS staff and advisers for their culinary experiences. “they were everything to us and have inspired us to follow our dreams.”

The student cooking brigade was competing against 21 other high schools in wisconsin in the wisconsin prostart student invitational culinary competition held at last week’s midwest foodservice expo at the wisconsin center, milwaukee.American culinary federation

Of the 22 schools, westosha came in sixth. While the team didn’t make the final cut, for them it was a win, said jamie lutz, faculty adviser for this year’s team. “previously our best was eighth place,” lutz said.

The team was chosen from students taking the culinary elective of the family and consumer science department. “(the competition) is optional and involves extra work and practices before and after school,” explained lutz, FACS instructor.

Also advising and helping with training were chefs anthony signa, from the school’s food service department, and matt susienka, a navy chef affiliated with the american culinary federation, which partners with prostart.

Sponsored by the national restaurant association educational foundation, prostart provides professional food service curriculum to high schools to prepare students for careers in the food industry. Winners of its competitions are eligible for a variety of scholarship opportunities.American culinary federation

Judging the young chefs were culinary experts from technical colleges, the food service industry, food trade organizations and the american culinary federation.

The march 13 culinary competition involved preparing a three-course meal to be judged on presentation, cooking procedures, knife skills and sanitation.

The student teams developed their menus with a budget of $75 and were required to assign each item a dollar amount for which it would be offered on a menu.

“they picked and chose from internet recipes and got input from their chef advisers on ingredients and recipes that would demonstrate various cooking techniques,” lutz said.

From appetizer to dessert, items showcased wisconsin-sourced products and ingredients such as lake michigan salmon, ribs from a paddock lake butcher, spices from penzeys spices, local maple syrup, wine and cheeses.

The most challenging aspects of the competition were having to create gourmet grade dishes without benefit of a refrigerator or oven, said the students.American culinary federation

To compensate, the students came up with innovative solutions. To roast vegetables and make bacon and maple candied walnuts, they used a camp oven; instead of cooking salmon they brined it in salt and sugar.

Creating tender short ribs, which normally take over two hours, posed a particular challenge. Chef D.J. Smith, a junior, answered this with a pressure cooker.

The dessert, vanilla bean panna cotta, apple fritters and blackberry sauce, also presented a technical quandary. Panna cotta, a molded cream dessert, requires chilling to gel. To overcome the lack of refrigeration, student chef katelyn halladay came up with the idea of using iodized salt in an ice water bath to lower the temperature of the panna cotta faster.

To accomplish the feat of creating three intense dishes in an hour, team members were assigned to specific tasks. Halladay was on dessert, smith on ribs and sauce, sager handled the appetizer prep and made sure the salmon cured correctly, and eleanor drosen, a junior, headed up the horseradish potatoes and the appetizer vinaigrette.American culinary

Points were also gained for individual knife skills. Each member of the westosha team demonstrated his or her proficiency in a particular slicing or dicing technique.

“it was really intimidating to see how the other teams plated their food and how calm and collected they were,” said chef anna sager, a senior.

Sager noted that she and her fellow teammates owe a debt of thanks to westosha’s FACS staff and advisers for their culinary experiences. “they were everything to us and have inspired us to follow our dreams.”