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Herndon Career Center Culinary Team Earns Second in National Competition

The Herndon Career Center Culinary team took second place out of 47 teams in the National ProStart Invitational Culinary Arts competition, which was held in Washington, D.C., May 8-10.

Herndon Culinary team members include Raytown South High School student Trinity Commack, Ruskin High School student Marshawn Burnett, Lee’s Summit North student Haleigh Dyer, Lee's Summit West student Lauren Penner, and Ruskin High School student Eriq Young.

The students’ national-championship menu included an appetizer of Georges Bank Scallop with mango, beet, and blood orange, topped with crisp pea tendrils and chicory salad accompanied with fried lotus root and blood orange air; an entrée of pork roulade stuffed with shiitake mushroom duxelle, paired with potato latke, braised spring vegetables, and tomato demi-glace; and a dessert of strawberry panna cotta inlaid with blood peach gastrique topped with poppy seed fruit salad, fried honey chevre fritter, and crisp sesame seed brittle.

The Herndon Career Center Management team also competed in the national competition. Herndon Management team members included Center High School student Dereck Richardson, Ruskin High School student Juanisha Bradshaw, and Lee’s Summit High School student Alison Jones.

Herndon Career Center Culinary and Management teams represented the state of Missouri in the competition.

Herndon Career Center Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Mike Chrostowski is so proud of both teams and the second place finish by the Culinary team. “The team battled hard and they all did it with integrity and pride, not only for themselves but for the program, the district, and the state. This group of students never stopped surprising me day in and out with their accomplishments and I could not be happier for them all.” said Chef Mike Chrowstowski.

Each Culinary team member was also awarded a total of $192,500 in college scholarships, which can be used at the college or university of their choice to continue their restaurant/food service educations. Management team members each received $37,500 in scholarships. The 2017-2018 Culinary team and the 2018-2019 Culinary and Management teams brought in a combined total of $1.67 million in scholarships.  

The National ProStart Invitational is the nation’s premier high school culinary arts and restaurant management competition hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The NRAEF and its programs work to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.

The invitational also featured surprise appearances from Ted Allen, host of Chopped on the Food Network and author of In My Kitchen; Chef Jerome Grant, Executive Chef at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Sous Chef at the National Museum of the American Indian; Nicole Silva, entrepreneur and founder of Crumbles by Nicole and a finalist on ABC’s The Great Holiday Baking Show; and Chef Kwame Onwuachi, winner of the James Beard Award Rising Star Chef of the Year, author of A Young Black Chef and creator and Executive Chef at Kith and Kin. Students had the opportunity to learn from and interact with these industry influencers, as well as additional industry thought-leaders throughout the competition weekend. 

The team is under the direction of Herndon Career Center Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Mike Chrostowski.