The Saratoga Sun -

ProStart pros

Encampment students cook up first place wins


Photos courtesy of Cheryl Munroe

The management team, Justin Bonner, Ariana McKinney and Katlynne Hytrek.

Encampment High School students took home first place championships in management and bread-baking categories at the state ProStart competition.

Cake decorating and culinary took home second and third, respectively.

Katlynne Hytrek, Justin Bonner and Ariana McKinney make up the management team, and for their competition they have to put a portfolio together simulating every aspect of a restaurant. According to ProStart instructor Cheryl Munroe, they investigate insurance, prices, staffing, floor spaces and menu for the portfolio. They have to present a Powerpoint and participate in a question and answer session. Topics covered include everything from public relations to sanitation.

The management team will go to Dallas for the national competition at the end of April.

The baking team, Hunter Hammer and Tyler Kuster, made an artisan bread with parmesan and garlic butter. They created a unique effect by taking the bread, dividing it into four with the cheese and butter, and twisting it together so it looks like a star. This and the white bread they had to make in addition secured them first place. Cake decoration, with help from Sue Hooker and Tessa Pickett, nabbed them second place.

The culinary team, Alyssa Barkhurst, KeeGan Johnson, Ariana McKinney and Micaiah Pantle, had to come up with a complete menu and prepare it using butane burners. The appetizer used trout as the protein, while in the Dutch oven they made a parmesan cheese cracker with white and black sesame seeds. The effect of the cracker was similar to fish roe. The trout was cooked in sauce and then layered with micro arugula. "It was tops," said Munroe.

The entrée followed; a dish of elk ribeye stuffed with duxelles, hasselbeck potatoes and a three sisters succotash. For dessert, they made a non-alcoholic tirimisu.

Hammer was the alternate for the culinary team, for which he helped with timing and keeping the team on track much like a manager.

The culinary class is a tough one to win, Munroe said, because of resort towns like Jackson that have a deep pool of restaurant and hospitality resources that help the students practice. With many of the Encampment students involved in sports, their time to practice together was limited. Still, Munroe said that they competed very well.

Photos courtesy of Cheryl Munroe

Trout appetizer.

The students involved had these events in mind all year, building off the knowledge they have put together after years of participating in the program. ProStart has proved to be a success, too, as students still reach out to Munroe to share their successes in the hospitality industry.

According to experts, the future of hospitality in Wyoming looks bright. Governor Matt Mead was present to meet with and congratulate the students as the next generation of hospitality workers, an industry that Munroe said employs 34,000 people in the state and keeps growing.

The success of the students was possible with help from community members, including Ty Trevillyan for his help with insurance, Cassie Orduno of Bella's Bistro and Edge Powell of the Hotel Wolf, as well as chefs the class has connected with in Colorado.


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