JHHS Culinary Team Takes on Nationals


What can you cook in one hour with two small gas burners, no refrigeration, and no electricity? The Jackson Hole High School Culinary Team is cooking a three-course meal inspired by Asian cuisine, and is taking their skills to the National ProStart Invitational.

ProStart is an education program sponsored by the National Restaurant Association. The goal of the program and its curriculum is to prepare high school students for careers in the restaurant and food service industry. Teams are not only judged on their menu, but the degree of difficulty, food safety and sanitation, knife skills, cooking procedures, food costing, teamwork, taste, and presentation. Four judges observe the teams as they prepare their meal, while six judges taste the completed dishes.

JHHS Culinary Team

Left to right: Anne Romero Sosa, Tori Wolf, Antonina Profatilov, and Sam Lima

The JHHS Culinary Team, led by Molly Matthaei, chef instructor for the school’s Culinary Arts Program, advances to the national competition after securing the state title in Cheyenne in March 2017. The team of four consists of JHHS students Anne Romero Sosa, Tori Wolf, Antonina Profatilov, and Sam Lima. They began practicing in November 2016, and have been honing their skills at a weekly practice ever since.

wings first course

For the first course, the JHHS Culinary Team prepares Vietnamese style chicken wings with crispy rice noodles and pickled vegetable salad. Their entrée is a pan roasted cod with carrot noodles, forbidden rice pilaf, soy reduction, and ginger beet air. They round out the meal with dessert: a passion fruit ice box pie with fruit salsa and blueberry paint.entree course cod

In addition to their state title, the students received a combined total of $132,000 in scholarships to culinary institutions. The scholarship funds are to prestigious culinary institutions, including: the Culinary Institute of America, New England Culinary Institute, and Johnson and Wales. At the National ProStart Invitational, the students will again compete for scholarships, as well as have the opportunity to learn and practice more advanced cooking techniques from professional chefs.jhhs dessert

The 16th Annual National ProStart Invitational will take place April 28 through 30, in Charleston, S.C. The JHHS Culinary Team has been working hard to raise the necessary $7,000 to cover the costs of travel, event expenses, and practice groceries. Fundraising efforts have included large catering events, as well as a Go Fund Me page. To contribute, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/jhhsculinaryteam.

The Dishing team would like to wish these hardworking students the best of luck at Nationals, and in furthering their culinary educations.


About Author

Raised in the land of casseroles and deep fried cheese curds, Sam Simma left rural Wisconsin for the mountains of Wyoming in summer 2012. Her appetite for adventure is the only thing that rivals her passion for food. She has always used writing to document and critique her travel and dining experiences. Her warmest memories among family and friends have been associated with the food that was at the center of the occasion. From staging cooking shows with siblings to perfecting turtle brownies with her dad, today Sam enjoys connecting people over food by hosting cookie decorating parties, wine pairing nights, and Midwest-inspired potlucks. A dessert fanatic, she has come to impress friends and family with key lime pies, Oreo bon bons, and Snickers ice cream cakes that are far simpler than they could ever imagine. Shhh! Don’t tell.

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