Superintendent Kyle Repucci and Director of Career Technical Education Michele Halligan-Foley are proud to announce that students from the R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center earned recognition at a statewide restaurant management competition.
Students from the Restaurant Management Program took part in the New Hampshire ProStart State Invitational, an annual competition in which participating teams demonstrate their abilities by planning a three-course meal, getting ingredients while tracking costs, and then preparing the meal in 60 minutes for a panel of judges who evaluate taste, skill, teamwork, and safety and sanitation.
The team from Rochester was recognized for Safety and Sanitation.
Students began preparing for the competition in November, practicing twice a week to build communication skills and teamwork while honing the skills they learn from their career pathway.
The competition — the first one since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — was held on March 8 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, with students from across the state competing.
Each participating student is assigned a task as the group works together to design a menu, make sure they have the proper ingredients, that the ingredients are properly handled and stored, and that the cost of all dishes has been calculated.
Students then prepare food from their menu in a 60-minute, timed competition, working together to create plates for both tasting and display.
“The ProStart Invitational requires students to demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills in addition to all of the more technical skills they learn, and we are proud that our students’ performance earned recognition from industry experts who served on the panel of judges,” said Director Halligan-Foley. “The students in the competition have to do it all on their own, and I was impressed while visiting the competition to see how well the students addressed some tough questions.”
Students who took part in the competition said it was challenging, but also a valuable learning experience.
“I learned that working as a team and using good communication skills is not as hard as it seems to be at first,” said senior Samantha Freeman.
Damien Campbell, a junior, said the experience helped him learn to keep his station clean even while working quickly and under pressure.
“I learned how to connect with people,” said senior Wyatt Ebare. “I also learned how to take constructive criticism.”
Senior Bradley Silcocks said the competition also showed him that challenges can be overcome with commitment and persistence.
“It’s easier said than done, but with hard work, it can be done,” Silcocks said.
“The Restaurant Management Program teaches students skills of the trade that go far beyond just cooking. The program prepares students for a career in the industry or a career running a business, and we cover every aspect of the business from the front of the house to the back of the house,” said Superintendent Repucci. “I’m proud of the performance of our students, and of their ability to put their skills to use in a competitive environment.”
From left, Superintendent Kyle Repucci, junior Damien Campbell, seniors Samantha Freeman and Wyatt Ebare, teacher Victoria Garay, senior Bradley Silcocks, Teacher Deborah Weymouth and Director of Career Technology Education Michele Halligan-Foley at the New Hampshire ProStart Invitational in Concord. (Photo Courtesy Rochester Public Schools)