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Proviso West Students Place 2nd in IHA Culinary Cook-Off

On May 1, 2010, students from Proviso West High Schools’ culinary arts program competed with five other local high school teams in the 2010 IHA DVR Culinary Cook-Off at Triton College. Students were challenged to compete and prepare two elegant meals to be judged by two Triton professional chefs. It was a close competition, but in the end Proviso West students were victorious. They took home second place.

“The whole competition was a fun learning experience,” said Proviso West junior Gabriel Maldanado. “We learned different techniques on how to make things. It felt great to come in second place, and it was a dramatic win because we got it by only one point.”

Proviso West junior Kevin Le agreed that the cook-off was a challenge and a fun experience for the entire team.

“I had lots of fun,” said Le. “I was nervous in the beginning, but then I really got into the competition. Our teamwork really set us apart. It felt great to represent our school and to take home second place.”

The culinary arts teacher, Georgina Roney, helped to guide the team on their road to victory. Roney said that because both students hope to explore culinary careers, the competition gave them a boost of confidence and a great experience to take with them to college and into the real world.

“My goal from the beginning was to allow students with an interest in the culinary field to have an experience of competing in a professional kitchen with a professional staff, and to see firsthand what it is like to be a chef,” said Roney, “This experience for the students was important because many students learn from hands-on experiences. This was a labor intensive experience with unpredictable challenges. The students accomplished and experienced so much more than I was able to envision, and they had fun working together as a team.”

Proviso West Principal Alexis Wallace congratulated the team on their achievement.

“All of our students have different talents and different interests,” said Wallace. “At West we have something for everyone, and if there is one thing for sure—whatever our students set out to do with commitment and determination, they always excel. These students have represented Proviso West well, and they have made us very proud.”

Students said they hope to participate in the IHA DVR Culinary Cook-Off again next year.

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