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Herndon Career Center Culinary and Management Teams Wins State Competition, Qualify for Nationals

The Herndon Career Center (HCC) Culinary team recently earned first place out of 18 teams and HCC Culinary Management team placed first out of 7 at the ProStart Culinary Missouri State Competition held in Springfield, Missouri. Both teams will now compete in the National ProStart Invitational in Washington D.C., May 6-8, 2022.

Culinary team members include, Rachel Hartwig, Alex Fulson, Avery Dunn, Hannah McHenry, and AJ Musgrave. The culinary team had to prepare a three course dinner with no electricity or refrigeration in front of 24 judges.

Management team members include Faustina Jackson, Claire Mace, Brooklyn Doctor, and Isabella Jursch.

The management team created a business plan based on specific criteria using critical thinking skills. The team then presented the business plan to 20 different judges.

Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Mike Chrostowski is incredibly proud of his students’ hard work and dedication to the culinary program. “Both teams have had a mindset from day one of practice to set a goal and accomplish that goal. It has been an amazing opportunity to watch the team bond together not only as teammates but to become friends,” said Chef Chrostowski. “I believe this was the difference maker in both teams having the success they have had.”

Members from both teams each received $12,000 in scholarship funds for earning first place in the state competition.

The competition did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. In 2018, the Herndon Career Center Culinary team earned the title of national champions and each student received $200,000 in scholarship funds. In the last four years, students on the culinary and management teams have earned more than a combined total of $3,500,000 in scholarship funds.

In the national competition there are 42 culinary teams and management teams. Both teams will be evaluated by 25-45 judges.

The team also placed first in the Johnson County Community College High School Culinary Competition held at the Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy (WHCA) in early 2022.

The Herndon Culinary Arts program is under the direction of Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Mike Chrostowski.