Weeks of preparation earn culinary students awards

Weeks of preparation earn culinary students awards

Jamie Pellikaan, Co-Editor

The heat of the kitchen, the adrenaline of competition, doing what you love with a team.

This is what was experienced by six students from Olathe South who competed in the Kansas Preliminary State Competition as part of the culinary program at Olathe North.

Riley Flood and Brooke Lape, juniors, owned first place in culinary and will be going to nationals in North Carolina later in April.

Dorian Coleman, junior, won second place in edible centerpiece.

Sophia Hansen and Abby Laferte, seniors, and Sloane Verhagen, junior, competed in management and received third place.

In order to prepare for the competition, students stayed after school for weeks to practice.

“We practiced every day after school and that was about 40 practices total. We also met on the weekends,” Flood said.

The management team met every other day to develop their concept for the event.

Each competition had different requirements and the competitors needed to meet those challenges in order to succeed and move on to nationals.

Management was judged based on their ability to create the layout of a restaurant.

“We made and calculated the cost of a restaurant without actually building the restaurant,” Laferte said.

Judged on their concept of operation, layout, menu, marketing and critical thinking, the team gave a total of seven different presentations due to the new set up.

“It was completely different this year, and we had no idea what we were getting into,” Hansen said.

The event’s rules were different from what they were in past years, and though the team was overwhelmed at first, they overcame their challenges.

Coleman faced his own challenges with his event.

“There was only 45 minutes to make the centerpiece and mine had a lot of detail. Cleanliness was also big because I dropped a few grapes on the floor,” Coleman said.

Coleman was judged on timing, organization, cleanliness, safety and creativity.

Flood and Lape competed in the culinary event.

They were required to make a full menu with food costs.

The team had a scallop dish, a pork dish and Bavarian dish.

“Our team had really good communication,” Lape said.

However, the team still faced some difficulties.

“The burners we worked with were not as hot as we were used to. We also had to adjust to all the new elements that were not in practice,” Flood said.

However, the team overcame these challenges.

“We overcame a lot of our struggles during practice,” Lape said.

They will be presenting the same menu before a new set of judges and will be judged on the same requirements.

“I thought we were a well developed team,” Verhagen said.