By Michelle Pelletier Marshall
---- — HAVERHILL — It may not be Hell’s Kitchen, but there will certainly be some serious vying for top place with scholarship awards of over $60,000 at stake.
The competition will heat up at the 6th Annual Pro-Start Massachusetts Student Invitational on Feb. 8, where eight students from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School will put their culinary skills to the test against students from nine other area schools.
This high school culinary restaurant management competition, which showcases the top talent of the area’s future chefs and restaurateurs, is hosted by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and will be held at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge.
The competition will challenge culinary arts student teams to hone their learned cooking and management skills for a chance to win scholarship awards of over $60,000, as well as participate in the upcoming 2013 National ProStart Student Invitational in Baltimore, Maryland.
Eight students will represent Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School who will compete in both the culinary and management competitions:
Culinary Team: Adam Carroll of Rowley, Brittany Johnson of Groveland and Christine Barton and Brandon Lopez, both of Haverhill.
Management Team: Adelia Purdy of Amesbury, Abigail Gilmore and Ambur Marks of Haverhill and Jennifer Tilton of Bradford.
Other schools participating include: Amherst Regional High School, Carver Middle High School, Minuteman Technical High School, Nantucket High School, North Shore Technical High School, Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Taunton High School, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School and Wachusett Regional High School.
The competition will be judged by some of Massachusetts’ most seasoned and celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, including Chef Christopher Coombs of Deuxave, Jose Duarte of Taranta, Bob Wong of Kowloon, Richard Garcia of the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and Bill Brady of Sonoma Restaurant.
During the morning matches, teams will be required to demonstrate their creative culinary abilities making starters, entrees, vegetables, starches, and desserts, or demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and food-service industry by competing in a management event which includes presenting a developed business proposal for a new restaurant concept. Judging and an award ceremony will follow at 2 p.m. after the cook-off.
Scholarship award funds will be granted to winning management and culinary teams by: the Culinary Institute of America, Newbury College, Le Cordon Bleu, New England Culinary Institute, Johnson and Wales, Lincoln Culinary Institute, and the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes. Sponsors of the event are Le Cordon Bleu, Ecolab and Averill Sharper Uniforms.