Culinary secures spot in nationals


By Roby Tan

Culinary creations/ Posing with awards in hand, culinary brings home several awards from the statewide competition. The Hot Foods Team took first place, advancing to the nationals in May. Photo courtesy of Ann Taylor

Culinary students competed at the statewide Nevada State ProStart Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 8. 

The Hot Foods Team won first place and is advancing to the nationals in Washington D.C. from Thursday, May 7 through Tuesday, May 12. The Management Team won second place in their division. 

“Since we got a spot in the nationals this May for the Hot Foods Team, we are selling cupcakes for $1 at both lunches to raise as much money as we can for the trip,” junior Ashlyn Hayes said. 

Some special mentions include Hayes, who won first place in the Edible Centerpiece competition. Junior Bridget Podlesni won first place in tiered cake decoration, and senior Giavanna Uvari took second place in the Buttercream Cake Decorating competition. 

“I was really excited because I knew all the hard work paid off,” Podlesni said. “I gave up weeks of my lunch to sketch and design the cake, and the week before the competition, I created the cake each day to practice timing. 85 minutes may seem like a long time, but it goes by so fast under that amount of pressure.”

They were awarded at the UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality on Sunday, Feb. 9. To honor the culinary students, the Women’s Hospitality Initiative is hosting a “Movie Screening Panel and Culinary Celebration” on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at the UNLV Judy Bayley Theater and Hospitality Hall. There will be a movie premiere, personal discussions with women chefs and dishes and cocktails the women chefs and mixologists of Las Vegas will serve at the event.

“The competition this year was tough, but it was really exciting,” culinary instructor Ann Taylor said. “The kids prepared months and months in advance. They would come in before school at 6:30 a.m. and stay after school, practicing their dishes and presentations. It’s a big deal to win in-state since it offers millions of dollars in scholarships, equipment and such, especially when we took first place in Hot Foods.”

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Roby Aliyah Tan is a junior and a first-year reporter. She believes in the saying, “Trust the process.” It may be overwhelming during the first year but with a pinch of patience and optimism, she believes this year will end on a great note. She has a passion for traveling, has had her share of seeing some of the world’s wonders and wishes to pursue her dream to travel the world and be more exposed to different cultures.