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Sauk Rapids-Rice Takes ProStart Honors

Sauk Rapids-Rice’s first place management team of (left to right) Sawyer Amo, Tristen Tyson-Anderson, Madelyn Adamski, and Olivia Krepp, with instructor Mary Levinski.

Sauk Rapids-Rice delivered a one-two punch at the 12th annual Minnesota ProStart Invitational, with the high school’s culinary and management teams both earning first place in the statewide competition. 

Hosted by Sysco Minnesota on March 8, the event attracted ProStart cooking and business teams from 14 area high schools to present their skills to judges from within the chef, restaurateur and culinary instructor community. 

Each of the competing culinary teams had one hour to prepare a three-course meal using two butane burners. They were judged on teamwork, sanitation, menu presentation and taste, as well as knife skills. The top finishing Sauk Rapids-Rice team prepared lemon seared scallops as the starter, herb-crusted pork chop for the entrée and dark chocolate dome cake for dessert. The team, coached by instructor Mary Levinski, includes students Tori Gratke, Rachel Tazarek, Juliann Wick and Tessa Zwilling. 

The winning culinary team members from Sauk Rapids-Rice display their first-place dishes. Left to right: Elisa Marie Hartung, DeAndre Jackson, Cole Orton and Bailey Flores.

Taking second in the culinary competition was the team of Benjamin Greni, Riley Hogan, Taylor Kline, Taylor VanHoutan and manager Signey Schulter of Elk River High School, coached by Monique Sabby. In third place was the Buffalo High School team of Katie Dismang, Leah Ramsey, Athena Schultz, Grayson Wubben and manager Sierra Garcia, coached by Julie Mundahl.

Teams in the management competition developed a proposal for an original restaurant concept based on guidelines specified by ProStart. Students are judged on their knowledge of the hospitality industry in the areas of concept, menu/costing, operations, marketing and critical thinking. Again it was Sauk Rapids-Rice that took the title, with students Madelyn Adamski, Sawyer Amo, Olivia Krepp and Tristin Tyson-Anderson impressing the judges. 

Elk River nabbed another second-place spot with its management team of Lyndsey Geist, Riley Hogan, Zackery Kreider, Taylor VanHoutan and manager Taylor Kline. Placing third was the team from Rogers School of Keenan Johnson, Emma Springer, Taylor Tong, Mambo Tsi Ndingwan and manager Madalyn Thompson, coached by Marissa Getty.

Both first place teams advance to the National ProStart Invitational April 27-29 in Providence, Rhode Island. 

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