Students from the Anderson District I & II Career and Technology Center competed at the 16th Annual National ProStart Student Invitational hosted in Charleston, SC. This is the first time the event was held in the Palmetto State and the teams from ACTC represented themselves, their school, and the state very well. The ACTC Management Team placed 2nd and the Culinary Team placed 5th.
The NPSI was held at the Embassy Suites North Charleston Convention Center and included 48 culinary teams and 42 management teams from around the country and as far away as Guam. Culinary teams must prepare a three course meal in only an hour using camping burners and no running water. Management teams create and present a professional business proposal for a unique restaurant design.
The ACTC culinary team includes Seniors Alyssa Swiss and Seth Mahaffey of Wren High, Junior Lydia Syvock of Powdersville High, and Seniors Rose Sapp and Makayla Cartee, Palmetto High. These students began working in October to perfect their skills in preparing a 3 course menu by using no electricity and no running water. The students planned a menu that included an appetizer of Rabbit Roulade with Foie Gras, Carrot Puree, Sautéed Petite Vegetables and Rabbit Demi-Glace. The entrée was a Pan Seared Seabass over Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Asparagus with Leeks and Pancetta. The dessert was a playful take on a classic strawberry shortcake and included a Strawberry Mint Sorbet, Lemon Chiffon Cake, Mascarpone Mousse, and Strawberry Sauce.
The ACTC management team includes Seniors Jordan Trull of Wren High, Emily Strickland, BHP, and Deonte Blanding, Powdersville High. This team designed and presented a professional restaurant concept called Viridian, which featured vegan dining in a waste free environment. The judges critique the project and ask the team detailed questions about their concept. The descriptive details and unique concept really impressed the judges and the creative menu and marketing put the team over the top. Senior Jordan Trull said, “We came so close to going to nationals last year, it was great to make it there in 2017 and place 2nd.”
The students earned scholarships, medals, and trophies for finishing in the top 5. “It was an honor to represent our school and state at the national competition this year, and our hard work paid off at the event in Charleston,” said culinary senior Seth Mahaffey.
ProStart is a two year curriculum designed by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation to prepare students with the basic culinary and management skills to be successful in the hospitality industry after high school. ProStart trains students on industry-specific skills that can be used in all areas of the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also learn employability skills – like leadership, critical thinking, communication, accountability, teamwork and responsibility – that they can take with them to positions in all industries. ProStart is offered in all 50 states, Guam, and DODEA and includes nearly 140,000 students.
ACTC students that participated in the Annual National ProStart Student Invitational are pictured: (back row) – Douglas O’Flaherty, Seth Mahaffey, Rose Sapp, Deonte Blanding, Chris Moree, (front row) – Makayla Cartee, Alyssa Swiss, Lydia Syvock, Jordan Trull, Emily Strickland.