Spring 2009 |
Have you ever seen a culinary competition like Iron Chef America,
Hell´s Kitchen or Top Chef? Imagine a competition like
that taking place in Omaha…with high school students. On Feb. 27 and 28
at MCC´s Fort Omaha Campus, community members witnessed just that.
MCC´s Institute for the Culinary Arts (ICA) High School Invitational
showcased the culinary and academic talents of high school students within a
The highlight of the ICA Invitational was the area´s best young
culinary students participating in a team competition format in two contests:
the Culinary Skills Competition and Hospitality Knowledge Bowl. The
competition helps prepare students for other professional culinary
competitions such as ProStart and SkillsUSA. Student teams can compete locally
at the ICA Invitational and continue through the state and national levels
2008 Invitational competitor and winner Hannah Elliott knows the pressures
and the benefits of the competition first-hand.
"My senior year [of high school] I was taking a class at the career
center, and I was in a group that competed in the MCC Culinary
Invitational," said Elliott. "My team actually took first place. We
were the only gold medal. My team was so happy because it was our very first
competition. We were just amazed. It was ran really well."
Elliott attributed a lot of her team´s success to their coach.
"We had a teacher who is actually a teacher [at MCC]. She showed us how
to do different things that were a little more advanced for a high school
student, but she knew we could do it. We were up for learning anything. She
really helped us fine-tune our skills."
Elliott received a scholarship for winning the competition and is currently
enrolled in the Pastry Program at MCC´s Institute for the Culinary
Participating schools in this year´s competition included Bellevue
East, Benson, Bryan, Elkhorn, Fremont, Gross Catholic, Milford, Missouri
Valley, Omaha Career Center, Omaha Central, Omaha North, Northwest,
Papillion-La Vista, Papillion-La Vista South, Plattsmouth, Ralston and
To learn more about MCC´s Institute for the Culinary Arts and the
High School Invitational, visit www.mccneb.edu/culinary.