Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Columbia Students Lead National Culinary Contests

Will Kinney, 2012 Rock Bridge High School graduate, placed first in the SkillsUSA national culinary competition for high school students. He is the second Missouri student ever to win the Culinary Arts competition. State contests began in March and the national contest was held in June at Bartle Hall in Kansas City.  Students from most of the 50 states, as well as Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, participated.  Regarding Kinney’s first place award in Culinary Arts, “We were extremely excited but not surprised by Will’s outcome,” said Brook Harlan, one of the Culinary Arts instructors at Columbia Area Career Center.

Kinney’s efforts were rewarded with full four-year scholarships to many of the country’s top culinary schools. Will is attending Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is enrolled in the School of Hotel Administration and will participate in their collaborative degree program with the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

Rock Bridge Senior Mallory Barnes placed fourth in the Skills USA Commercial Baking category. Mallory has returned to Columbia Area Career Center and is enrolled in Baking and Pastry and Culinary Arts II.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our two culinary and baking students. Will worked extremely hard; we have watched him grow into a competitor over the last two years. Mallory came to us as a fierce competitor. She is the first student we have ever had win the state contest and compete at nationals who has not even taken our Baking and Pastry course” said Chef Carri Risner.

The two competitors practiced for the entire year with Chefs Brook Harlan, Carri Risner, and Jeff Rayl of  Columbia Area Career Center.  The three chefs were in agreement that the success of their students was also based on the support of Columbia Area Career Center’s administration and the Columbia community.  “Since starting the program fifteen years ago we have grown tremendously. It is great to have another National Champion,” Chef Jeff Rayl added. “I am very proud of their accomplishments and I really look forward to their future”

This Culinary Arts National Champion is the second in the past three years from Columbia Area Career Center. The Columbia Area Career Center’s First National Champion was in 2010, when Rachel Koppelman won the title. This also marks the 10th straight year that  Columbia Area Career Center has had a state champion from Missouri competing in the national contest.

View the Tribune article prior to the competition here.

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