More than 200 students from a dozen Iowa high schools will compete in a culinary event today at Iowa State University. ISU professor Robert Bosselman says the Pro-Start Invitational is a day-long competition that will test students’ culinary and management skills.
“The best way to describe it to your listeners is, if they’ve ever watched any of the food shows on the Food Network where the intensity of preparing a meal under the clock and the judges, it’s exactly that same situation,” Bosselman says. “Teams of four students have to prepare a three-course meal in one hour.” The pressure of the contest simulates real deadlines the future chefs might have to face in a professional kitchen.
“They have to show their knife skills and they have to fabricate a chicken,” Bosselman says. “In other words, they’re given a whole chicken and they have to take it apart and they’re judged on that. Also, they’re given a basket of food items and they have to prepare a menu.”
ISU’s Hospitality Management Program is hosting the event at the Memorial Union. There’s also a culinary career fair involving recruiters from 20 companies across Iowa. Winners will advance to the national competition in April.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)