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First-Bayside/Mainland high schools tops in Daytona State culinary competition

Daytona State’s Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management was ground zero on Feb. 7 for students from 11 area high schools who competed in a ProStart-style cook-off, one that had them stretching their know-how and creativity to prepare gourmet meals and edible centerpieces.

Teams of four from each participating high school had one hour to prepare an appetizer, entrée and a dessert using only two gas burners.

Brevard County’s First-Bayside High School took top honors in the culinary competition, serving up a grilled tuna with mango sauce appetizer, an entrée of stuffed jerk pork roulade with rice and peas, and topped off with a white-chocolate tart dessert.

Mainland High School came out on top in the edible centerpiece competition, presenting a compass rose made from watermelon, cantaloupe, red bell pepper, tomatoes and cucumbers.

The Feb. 7 event served as a prelude to a national ProStart competition that kicks off in Florida March 5-6 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The state contest for high school culinary students leads to a nationwide ProStart competition in May, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF).

Costa Magoulas, dean of hospitality and culinary programs at Daytona State, said the annual event hosted by the college helps students sharpen their skills as they prepare for the statewide and national competitions, which feature scholarships for winning teams.

“It’s an excellent warm-up for the students,” he said. “The state competition can be very intimidating, so the experience the students get here is valuable.”

More than 95,000 students from 1,900 schools across the country participate in ProStart competitions every year. Those who complete the program requirements earn an industry-recognized certificate of achievement and are eligible for NRAEF scholarships and course credits at more than 75 of the country’s leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities, including Daytona State College.

NRAEF also has selected Daytona State as one of five sites nationwide to train and certify high school culinary faculty in the ProStart hospitality curriculum. It is the third year the college has been selected. Twenty-six faculty from across the country will participate in a one-week boot camp-style training course at Daytona State June 21-28.

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{Feb. 7, 2014}

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Last updated: 2014-09-12T14:03:26.303Z