Hammond High Magnet takes top culinary honors

Hammond High Magnet School took top culinary honors at the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s Louisiana ProStart Student Competition on Feb. 28-29 in Kenner.

The school was one of 21 competing in two areas: culinary and management. During the culinary competition, teams demonstrated knife skills, poultry fabrication and creative abilities by creating a three-course meal in an hour, consisting of a soup, salad or appetizer; an entrée with protein; vegetable and starch; and a dessert.

Dutchtown High placed second and Mandeville’s Lakeshore High placed third.

Hammond’s menu was prepared by Alex Boudreaux, Lauren Fendalsen, Loretta Kellum and Jacob Lutz and led by instructor Patti Johnson.

The menu started with an appetizer of garlic shrimp, almond-crusted shrimp and bacon-wrapped shrimp in a cane syrup and orange juice glaze; an entrée of filet with a mashed potato patty and kale Rockefeller; and a dessert of cream puff with Chantilly cream and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The management competition was won by Rayne High School’s team of Kelsey Burleigh, Sebastian Hebert, Catherine Meche and Andre Rochon and led by instructor Kandice Dequeant.

Rayne students demonstrated a knowledge of the restaurant and food-service industry by developing a restaurant proposal, delivering a verbal presentation, creating a visual display and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations.

Hammond High took second place and Fontainebleau High took third.

Rayne’s concept was a small plates/tapas restaurant called Petit Manger, Jazzy Cajun Tapas, with the tagline, “Small bites, big flavor.” In Cajun French, ‘petit manger’ means small bites.

Each student on the first-place teams received scholarships of $15,000 from the New England Culinary Institute; $12,000 from the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes; $1,000 from the Art Institute of Houston; $6,000 from Sullivan University; $6,000 from Le Cordon Bleau (culinary only); $3,000 from the Louisiana Culinary Institute; $1,000 from Johnson and Wales University; and $1,000 from the Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism at the University of New Orleans.

Second-place teams received scholarships of $10,000 from the New England Culinary Institute; $4,000 from Sullivan University; $3,000 from Le Cordon Bleu (culinary only); $1,000 from the Louisiana Culinary Institute; $500 from Johnson and Wales; and $5000 from the Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism at the University of New Orleans.

Third-place teams received scholarships of $5,000 from the New England Culinary Institute; $2,000 from Sullivan University; $1,500 from Le Cordon Bleu (culinary only); $1,000 from the Louisiana Culinary Institute; $500 from Johnson and Wales; and $500 from the Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism at the University of New Orleans.

Hammond High and Rayne High will represent Louisiana in the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore on April 27-29.