Newark culinary students take second place

By Christina Giannantonio/The Star-Ledger
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on January 26, 2014

North 13th St. School Culinary students Prince Coker, Leokery Martinez, Sandra Gonzalez, Genesis Ortiz and Rafael Rosa finished second at the New Jersey ProStart Culinary Competition.


NEWARK — Students in Essex County Technical School's North 13th St. School culinary program have proven they know their way around a kitchen by finishing second in the 2014 New Jersey ProStart Culinary Competition held Jan. 14 in Asbury Park.

Teams of culinary students went head-to-head in preparing a meal in a given time frame using only two butane burners to cook. The meals were then judged by 19 food industry professionals including Top Chef Season 5 finalist Ariane Duarte.

Approximately 70 high school students from Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Atlantic and Mercer counties competed, but it was Passaic County Technical Institute that took home the top prize in both the culinary and culinary management categories. The team will move on to the national competition.

"This year the difference between first and second place was by the narrowest of margins in the competition’s history, I believe," said Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant Association, sponsor of the event.

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