Culinary Team Bests State Competition, On To Nationals

Career and Technical School Culinary students and their teachers pose with a large scholarship check.
The Capital Region BOCES culinary team of Katelyn Manchester, Alexia Torres and Logan Stephens, who won the state ProStart culinary competition, will compete against youth chefs from around the country at nationals in Washington, DC this May.

For the second consecutive year, a Capital Region BOCES student team has won the challenging state ProStart culinary competition.

Katelyn Manchester and Alexia Torres of Cobleskill-Richmondville, and Logan Stephens of Middleburgh earned the state’s top honors during the March 22-23 competition at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Manchester and Torres are seniors and were part of the 2018 state championship team that finished in the Top 10 nationally.

This year’s team now advances to the nationals in Washington, DC where they will compete against the top youth chefs from across the country on May 8-10.
The three students, who are enrolled in Chef Nancy Iannacone’s culinary program on our Schoharie campus, bested nine other teams from across the state and Vermont during the state competition. The students won scholarships to pursue further culinary education in college, as well as a $5,000 scholarship to pay their way to the national competition. 

To advance to the national competition, the Capital Region BOCES team had just 60 minutes using only two butane burners (with no access to running water or electricity) to create a three-course meal that included such complex and diverse offerings as pork tenderloin with apple date cherry chutney, microgreens with candied bacon and pine nuts, and white chocolate crème fraiche mousse. Students were evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation.

The national ProStart event 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—with hopes of earning coveted scholarships from the nation’s premier culinary and restaurant management programs.