Chef and Owner Chuck Schommer Judges Culinary Competition


It's a culinary competition that brings together industry and the classroom, as high school students from across Montana put their skills to the test.

A total of 37 students from seven high schools across the state put their culinary skills to the test in the annual ProStart Invitational.

“ProStart program is juniors and seniors interested in going into the culinary arts kitchen or management side," explained Sarah Boyer.

One competition asks students to prepare a three-course meal. In one hour. Using only two burners.

They're judged on taste, teamwork, safety and sanitation, among other skills.

"I have to make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to,” said Raschel Helcher, a senior from Drummond High School.

Chef and owner of Buck's T-4 in Big Sky, Chuck Schommer, was one of the judges.

“Many have to try out for the team just like in athletics and make the cut,” said Schommer. “Then hours and hours of practice to develop recipes and menu."

Emily Johnson

"My part in the competition is to make and decorate the cake,” explained Emily Johnson, a student at Red Lodge High School. “And this is the one I made right here. It's a white chocolate cake with lemon curd and white chocolate icing."

Montana Ale Works chef Roth Jordan says this program is a great asset for employers.

“Having a program like this takes kids at a young age and starts to teach them about hospitality industry,” said Jordan. “It's really important for Montana and all of us who depend on tourism as part of our local industry."

The culinary winners were Bozeman High School Students, who will go to nationals in Anaheim, California.

Story by Brooke Boone

Click on the link to watch the KBZK News video of the competition