Monday, November 10, 2014

The Art of Culinary

For the last two years, I have had the opportunity to attend a lovely event called "Stars of the Future" at the "W" Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.  It is hosted by the Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, with proceeds helping to defray expenses for high school students traveling to the ProStart National Invitational Competition next April in Anaheim, California. Sissy #1 is a high school culinary coach and her team has participated in this event for the past 4 years.

A little about ProStart
According to their website, ProStart is a two-year "hands on" career-building program for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant industry.  About 50 high schools in Minnesota currently teach the ProStart curriculum.  Each year, only two teams in the state win spots to compete at the national level.  For the past seven consecutive years, Sissy #1's team has earned one of those spots.

Sissy and her Team with their mentor for The Stars of the Future; Chef Tuan Nguyen of
Parasole Corporate.

Everything We Ate
Students who executed and served these plates are only juniors and seniors in high school.

Maple Braised Pork Cheeks with Savory Bread Pudding

Albondigas al Chipotle with Avocado Crema

Salmon Tartar with Tropical Fruit Chutney and Avocado Mousse

Lamb Barbacoa Tacos with Mint and Lime

Lobster "Rich Boy" with Emily's Homegrown Fried Tomatoes

Zen Reflection Asian Meatballs with Carrot Cilantro Slaw
Chickpea Croquettes with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Bunuelos with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Fall Harvest Topping

Chocolate Hazelnut Whiskey Mousse Cake

Sissy #1, me and Sissy #2 after sharing in wonderful wine and delicious food!  

There are many things I love about this event.  For starters, these young people are goal oriented and driven in their passion for food and their hopes of breaking into the hospitality industry.  To talk with them and listen to their ambitions is inspiring.

Secondly, I am over-the-top proud of my sister who is not only known in this industry, but is well respected.  I was visiting with one gentleman who is a retired GM for a large golf course and served as a food judge in the ProStart competition.  He said that the first time he met Sissy #1 and her team, he wasn't just amazed, he was astonished.  Hearing that, my heart swelled.  As with any of my siblings, when I hear nice comments about them and their character from others, I believe it is a direct reflection on my parents and the home we were raised.

At the end of the evening, Sissy's team was invited to create a six-foot gingerbread house to be displayed during the Christmas season at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis.  Sissy confided to us that she doesn't even know where to begin with this project, but her students didn't hesitate to accept the challenge.  What an exciting adventure!

I've included a YouTube video about the culinary program at Sissy's high school, produced and edited by high school students.

Thanks for bearing with me as I rattle on and brag a little about my sister.  I love her and I am proud of her!

1 comment:

  1. I love it! Congrats, Mary and Team. The desserts really impressed me!