Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hammond ProStart Students Cook Like the Pros

Hammond High Magnet School is one of the state’s most successful ProStart® programs, having won the LRA Education Foundation Louisiana ProStart Student Culinary Competition five of the last six years and has placed in the top ten programs nationally. The students and their instructor, Patti Johnson, love the program and now have a commercial-grade, state-of-the-art kitchen to learn and teach in.

With such a fabulous kitchen to utilize—at the cost of $1.1 million—the school, the Tangipahoa Parish School Board and the LRAEF is officially unveiling it with a Grand Opening ceremony Monday, November 5 at 4 p.m.  

Prep station
The 1,500 square-foot kitchen has five cooking stations that include a six-burner range, convection oven, salamander broiler, tilt skillet and deep fryer.

“This is an investment in the future of the ProStart program at Hammond High Magnet School,” said Tangipahoa Parish School Board Superintendent Mark Kolwe. “This new facility will complement the other programs being added at the Hammond High Magnet campus.”

Many of the Hammond High Magnet ProStart Program’s 34 students will be on hand at the Grand Opening to prepare food for the attendees. Kolwe along with representatives from the Louisiana Restaurant Association and its Educational Foundation, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, state legislators, as well as other local dignitaries and government officials, will tour the new kitchen.

Kitchen ranges
ProStart is administered in Louisiana by the LRAEF and is a nationwide program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s foodservice leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills, such as teamwork, communications, math and science, and a foundation that will last a lifetime.

“Hammond High Magnet School’s dedication to excellence in the culinary arts, under the direction of ProStart Instructor Patti Johnson, has certainly earned them the opportunity to educate its ProStart students in this state-of-the-art atmosphere,” said LRAEF Executive Director Alice Glenn. “They are fantastic model for all our ProStart programs to emulate.”

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