Culinary Art Students at Chugiak High School
What do culinary arts students, Chugiak High School and the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lion’s have in common? How about service to others, work related training, community support and fun!
In 2012 the Chugiak High ProStart culinary arts team won the statewide Alaska ProStart culinary competition. The team prepared a three course meal on two butane burners in front of judges and spectators in one hour. This qualified the team to compete at the 2012 National ProStart culinary competition in Baltimore, Maryland. While in Baltimore the students met famous chefs from across the United States while being treated to a variety of new culinary experiences. The Chugiak team placed 14th in the nation and first in sanitation. Each student earned over $20,000 in scholarships.
During the year long training students from the Chugiak ProStart team partnered with a number of businesses and organization to gain support for their road to success. The students teamed with the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lion’s to help prepare and serve their annual community wide Valentine’s dinner which is a fund raiser for scholarships for local students. They baked a variety of desserts that included cheesecakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and raspberry mousse for over 200 customers. Students experienced real life application of the skills they were learning in school. The work experiences also provided the students with an opportunity to develop confidence and satisfaction in serving others. Teamed with Lion members, the students learned to work cooperatively and in a professional manner.
Gaining financial support for the many food items the team needed to practice on a daily bases throughout the year was a stumbling block for the Chugiak team. The Sleeping Lady Mountain Lion’s surprised the team with a generous financial donation to help fund the student’s ongoing practices. This allowed students to focus on sharpening their culinary skills rather than earning funds to compete.
Kathleen Vik is the Chugiak High ProStart instructor and a member of the Eagle River Sleeping Lady Mountain Lion’s Club.