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Local Student Chefs Plate & Create 3-Course Meals In Culinary Challenge

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Students from all over Maryland put their chef skills to the test in downtown Baltimore on Tuesday.

Monique Griego has more on millions at stake.

Precise plating is only part of what it takes to win this culinary competition for future top chefs.

“I couldn’t think anything. I went blank. Oh, I was just so nervous,” said Morgan Booth, student.

Booth and her team are from the National Academy Foundation High School in Baltimore.

They’re hoping the skills they learned in the ProStart Culinary Program will help put them ahead of 16 other schools in the 8th Annual Maryland ProStart Student Invitational.

The program teaches the students “everything they need to know to either be a chef in a restaurant or own and manage a restaurant,” said LeDeana Wentzel, ProStart director.

The competition requires students to create their own menu and once they get here everything is timed.

“It is extremely intense, very competitive. The students won’t talk about what they’re preparing ahead of time,” Wentzel said.

Months of hard work all come down to one hour and a three-course meal. So every moment counts leading up to that final touch.

Griego: “What did you think when you saw final meals on the table with judges there?”

“That they looked good,” Danielle Sanchez responded.

But bragging rights aren’t all they’ll get for cutting up the competition.

“We have $1.6 million in scholarship money,” Wentzel said.

That’s what makes all the hard work worth it.

“It’s basically something that could help me become what I want to be,” Booth said.

Students also competed in restaurant management.

The winners will go on to represent Maryland in the national competition.

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