Milton Hershey School Culinary Arts Students are Pennsylvania ProStart Champions
Recently, several Milton Hershey School students celebrated another victory at the 2023 Pennsylvania ProStart Invitational. This marks the second year the MHS team has swept both the Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management categories.
The four students, T.J. Kramer, Lisa Jones, Lindsay Andrews, and Percy Byrd showcased their talents in State College, Pennsylvania, as they competed against students from across the state. Together, they brought to life a business plan to create a vegetable-forward restaurant with an emphasis on sustainability and the following menu:
- Appetizer: Smoked salmon mousse éclair with honey-dijon glaze, served with horseradish-pickled vegetables
- Entrée: Seared duck breast with spiced cherry sauce, butternut squash purée, and duck fat-sauteed vegetables
- Dessert: Goat cheese and rosemary terrine with browned-butter pretzel crumb, blackberry glace, citrus curd, and salted caramel sauce
For seniors T.J. and Lisa, this is not their first time competing in the ProStart competition at the state or national level.
“Being a part of the MHS ProStart team over the last two years has helped me work more efficiently under pressure and be more precise in my movements to complete tasks,” shared Lisa Jones, MHS Senior.
These students have taken full advantage of the school’s Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management career pathway within the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. For many of these students, hands-on experiences to hone their skills in the kitchen pave the way to future success, including the opportunity to attend the Culinary Institute of America.
“ProStart is very special to me and has taught me a slew of not only skills but admirable traits that I will be able to take with me once I graduate from MHS,” shared T.J. Kramer, MHS Senior. “I’ve learned to be flexible, observant, and methodical while juggling my time wisely. I’m proud of what I’ve learned to develop a creative and practical mind.”
Many students, including these four MHS students, will compete in the 2023 National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C. on May 2-4. From the school’s CTE curriculum in classrooms to internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing, MHS students have every opportunity to learn from professionals in their field of study.
“Competitions like this are important because MHS students get to utilize skills learned throughout their time in their culinary arts classes to create menus, business plans, and marketing strategies. They also practice food costing, public speaking, and fine-tune their abilities to produce high-end food,” shared Brad Jennings, MHS Culinary Arts Teacher.