The Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School culinary team including Alexia Torres and Katelyn Manchester of Cobleskill-Richmondville placed ninth out of 46 teams from across the country in the national ProStart Invitational held in late April.
“It’s crazy to think a small school from Schoharie won ninth in our nation against 46 other teams,” Torres said.
The national competition is touted as America’s premier secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. During the National ProStart Invitational, nearly 400 student competitors put their skills to the test in front of industry leaders, National Restaurant Association trustees, state restaurant associations and family and friends—all with hopes of earning coveted scholarships from the nation’s premier culinary and restaurant management programs.
The Capital Region BOCES team won the state tournament in March to advance to the national event.
Torres said the competition was eye-opening because of the level of skill shown, but she, too, expects to go to the nationals again.
“What we did this year shows that hard work and dedication pays off in the end. I am very excited to go back next year and rock it,” Torres said.
During the national event, the students had 60 minutes and limited resources to prepare a gourmet meal that included butternut squash and goat cheese raviolo with brown butter sage sauce for an appetizer, an entrée of pan-seared arctic char with tomato butter sauce and a dessert of toasted almond ricotta cake with lemon curd and triple berry coulis.
BOCES culinary teacher Chef Nancy Iannacone praised the hard work and diligence of the team.
“They did a fantastic job and had the support of so many in the community. I am very proud of their accomplishment,” she said.