For the second consecutive year, C-R students on the Capital Region BOCES culinary team will compete for a national championship.
Students Alexia Torres and Katelyn Manchester from Cobleskill-Richmondville and Logan Stephens from Middleburgh will test their cooking skills against the best youth chefs in the country at the National ProStart Invitational May 8-10 in Washington, DC.
The trio earned the right to represent New York State by besting teams from New York and Vermont during a March 22-23 competition at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Torres and Manchester are seniors and were part of the 2018 state championship team that finished in the top 10 nationally.
This year’s squad advances to the nationals in Washington, DC where they will compete against the top youth chefs from across the country May 8-10 in a competition that is billed as “the country’s premier secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts.”
During the event that is sponsored by The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), nearly 400 student competitors challenge themselves in front of industry leaders, NRAEF Trustees, state restaurant associations, and family and friends – all with hopes of earning coveted scholarships from the nation’s best culinary and restaurant management programs.
“I am excited and nervous. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people and compete,” said Manchester.
“I am excited about the experiences and getting the scholarships if we do well and just having all of this experience as a human being,” he said.
The trio said they have been working hard to ensure a good finish in the competition.
“We have been practicing a lot. We have come on weekends and over Spring Break. We are ready,” added Torres.
Capital Region BOCES Teacher Chef Nancy Iannacone said the team will prepare a menu consisting of scallops with orange basil gastrique with salad of arugula, baby cucumbers, baby bell peppers, and orange supremes; pan-roasted chicken breasts with mushroom sweet vermouth pan sauce, goat cheese whipped potatoes and butter-braised asparagus and carrots. Desert will feature lemon ricotta fritters, white chocolate crème fraiche mousse, strawberry rhubarb sauce, minted strawberries, coconut and almond crunch.
The entire menu will be prepared by the three high school students in 60 minutes using butane burners.
“It’s exciting to compete and see how we do against others,” said Torres.