ProStart State Champions!

Fearrington’s Sous Chef Thomas Card worked with a team of five talented high schoolers for the third time this year, through the Prostart Program, a nationwide program that connects the classroom and industry. Chef Card’s team took home the Prostart State Championship this March!

From November through March Chef Card and the team practiced and trained together twice a week for four hours a day for the competitions. Chef Card’s team has won state competitions every year they have participated since 2013!

The Prostart Program sets the hopeful chefs up with a foundation cooking and communication skills, and team work experience. All of these skills are important for chefs throughout their career, which makes learning them early so valuable. 

In each competition, the team must demonstrate their accomplishments in cooking, in addition to making delicious food! The team must pass through a 20 minute product check and kitchen set-up, 15 minute knife and chicken fabrication skills, 20 minutes for “mise en place” and one hour to cook their meal. The team then hears critiques from judges on each course.

“Team work and communication is the most difficult thing to teach,” said Chef Card. “When you have four people working on their own projects, it’s hard to make them realize that they can’t complete the task with out talking to each other and working together.” The team sailed through the competition to take the state title!

Chef Card is proud of his team for many reasons. “I am most proud of how they came together at the competition, and of their best competitive run yet.”

The most important lesson the high school hopeful chefs have learned? “How much hard work goes into being a chef,” said Chef Card.

The most important lesson Chef Card has learned? “How much work it is being a chef,” he said. “I have learned how inspiring a younger generation of culinarians can be. The process is difficult but very rewarding.”

Follow Chef Card on Instagram @thomascard to see more of his culinary adventures!

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