Aspiring chefs from three Missoula high schools went to head-to-head in the first annual MCPS and UM Cooking Competition on Saturday. The event was held at the University of Montana’s University Center. Students from culinary programs at Hellgate, Sentential and Big Sky highschools were given roughly two hours to prepare an entrée, and organizers encouraged the kids to use local ingredients in their cooking.
"The other thing that was really cool to see was the teamwork, that a lot of times in high school you can kind of see go by the wayside, but they were all fantastic, working together. They got very excited about it," said MCPS Food Service Supervisor Stacey Rossmiller.
The meals were given to a panel of judges, who then awarded the winners. First Place went to Sentinel High School. That means they received a thousand dollars toward their school’s culinary program. Second Place went to Hellgate High and Third Place went to Big Sky High for 500 and 250 dollars. Recipes for all three teams’ dishes will soon be featured on the Missoula Public Schools lunch menu.
The event was the brainchild of Peter Kerns, a member of FoodCorps, who seves at campuses around MCPS as well as with Garden City Harvest.
The awards given were donated by the University of Montana dining program.