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Proviso West Students Take First Place in Triton Culinary Competition

May 24, 2012 02:45 PM
Hillside, IL...With a huge spoon in hand and big shoes to fill, Proviso West High School culinary students put together a recipe for success that earned them first place in the 2012 Des Plaines Valley Region Culinary Cook-Off.

The cook-off was held on May 5th at Triton College. Proviso West senior, Myrail Harris, and junior, Mario Munoz, competed against two other teams from West Leyden and East Leyden High Schools. Fans of "Iron Chef," "Chopped" and other popular TV cooking shows saw similar features in Triton’s competition. Though the task was tough, the culinary skills of Proviso West students set them above the rest.

"It was shocking at first to realize that we’d won," said Myrail. "Then I was really happy because we worked hard to win. That was everything that we had been working toward. We wanted to come in first place."

WestCulinaryWinners2012-1-smTasked with the challenge of creating several dishes, the high school students, in teams of two, were provided with all the ingredients and equipment needed to make specific dishes within an hour. Each team was paired with a Triton Hospitality Industry Administration (HIA) student to assist with the use of kitchen equipment and necessary tools. The competition was designed to give students an understanding of the stress and sense of accomplishment that comes from cooking in a fast-paced setting. For Mario and Myrail, cooking is far from stressful. It is a fun hobby that they had already perfected in their culinary classes at Proviso West. Nonetheless, they say that the competition was an experience they will not soon forget.

"It was a great experience," said Mario, who sees becoming a chef as a second career option. "We actually had the opportunity to see what it feels like to work in a professional kitchen. We learned how to better manage our time, how to work with people that we’ve never met, and how to work as a team. I was excited because I had never really won anything before. So, it was really cool that we won."

Students were judged on work habits, techniques, development and product presentation – including appearance, taste and creativity. Their culinary teacher, Ms. Roney, says the students made her and their classmates proud.

Congratulations, Mario and Myrail! You are a vital part of Proviso Rising.


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