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SPASH Students place 4th in Throwdown Competition

By Portage County Business Council

photoWhile learning to cook is something most high school students are trying to do, perfecting their cooking techniques and being judged on them is what two students chose to do.

Seniors Parker Sedlak and Gus Zakrzewski recently competed in Appleton at the Fox Valley Technical College Culinary Throwdown event. This was the first year the event was held for high schools from all across the state. Two students made up each culinary team and teams had a strict set of guidelines to follow. “The event seemed scary at first, but once you jumped into it, it wasn’t as bad as we had expected,” said Sedlak.

Each team had to prepare an entree consisting of a protein, a vegetable and a starch. The students were given the category of “chicken” as their protein source and then they needed to choose how they were going to prepare it. Teams showing the most skill are the ones who generally faired the best.

In addition to showcasing their cooking skills, students also had to cost each individual serving and prepare a nutritional analysis of each dish they made. “It seemed like we had a lot to do to prepare for the event, but we practiced on a regular schedule and it all came together in the end, said Zakrzewski.”

This was the first time these student and culinary instructor, Mrs. Pernsteiner, had ever competed in a competition and all were excited at their fourth place finish. “I couldn’t be more proud of these two individuals,” said Pernsteiner. “They put a lot of hard work in and I am excited for the success they earned.”

Now that these two students got their feet wet in the competition world, they both seem eager to do it again. Competing in events such as this is one part of SPASH’s ProStart curriculum in which students can earn credit at a number of local post-secondary institutions. “It is programs like this that really give students a taste of the real world and help them in making their future career decisions,” says Pernsteiner. “I am proud to be teaching at a high school that can offer these programs to students!