Editor’s Note: The following announcement comes from Hopkins Public Schools.
Students in the Hopkins High School ProStart culinary program joined seven other high school teams in showcasing their cooking skills at the second-annual Stars of the Future fundraiser Nov. 18 at the W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Working alongside their mentor, guest chef Tim McCarty from the Mayo Foundation, the students prepared and served two pork features – BBQ Crostini and Thai Belly Wontons – to more than 100 attendees.
According to Hopkins High School ProStart instructor, Gayle Durand, the Stars of the Future fundraiser prepares students for a larger state competition held in March. Five Hopkins students participated in this real-world event including Mary Mobley, Kelsey Specht, Bryce Smink, Preston Bailey.
“The students worked extremely hard on their products, always showing professionalism and excellence,” said Durand. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. The experience of working with a professional chef is one of a lifetime.”
ProStart is a two-year program for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant industry. Forty-three high schools in Minnesota currently offer the ProStart curriculum. Besides receiving classroom instruction and hands-on training, many ProStart students also compete in Minnesota’s ProStart Invitational, which includes both culinary and management disciplines. Top teams in Minnesota’s competition receive awards and scholarships for a variety of culinary schools. Stars of the Future raises funds to help Minnesota’s winning teams travel to the national competition.
Many other districts participated in the Stars of the Future event including Elk River, Forest Lake, Park Center, Rocori, St. Michael/Albertville, Sauk Rapids-Rice and S.T.E.P. at Anoka Hennepin District 11. Those teams were mentored by other respected chefs: Todd Bolton from Parasole Restaurant Holdings, Bill King from CRAVE America, Jamie Malone of Sea Change, Paul Lynch from the soon-to-open Radisson Blu Mall of America, Tim McKee of La Belle Vie, Adrienne Odom of Parasole Bakery and Michael Larson/Jeff Anderson from Eat Shop.