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High School Culinary Students Sharpen Skills at MCC Invitational

Spring 2009 | Archives

ICA High School 
                                     Invitational 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 100-mile radius.

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 of competition.

Hannah Elliot

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 Arts.

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 Roncalli.

To learn more about MCC´s Institute for the Culinary Arts and the High School Invitational, visit www.mccneb.edu/culinary.

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