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Students From Across Missouri Compete in Cooking Contest

Students from across Missouri left their classrooms today and entered the kitchen. High School groups traveled to Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield to participate in the State Pro-Start Culinary Contest. It's a high school cooking competition held by the National Restaurant Association. KSMU's Jana Greer was there and reports.

The kitchen was crowded with students dressed in white chef's coats and black pants. You could smell the variety of flavors as different foods were being fried, sliced, and blended. Twenty-eight high schools from across Missouri participated in a statewide cooking competition, the Pro-Start Culinary Contest. Eric Smith is a senior from Waynesville, MO. He explains how the competition works.

Each team is made up of four students. They are required to use their own recipes and prepare a three course meal in one hour. Students are judged on their teamwork, cooking technique and of course their food. Jerry Vincent is the Program Director for Missouri's Pro-Start Culinary Program. He says the skills students learn from the competition will stick with them.

Cybil Scheighauser is a culinary teacher from North Kansas City High School. She says that the competition is about more than just winning.

The team that wins first place today will win a cash prize and a chance to compete in the national competition later this spring in San Diego, California for a chance to win a four year college scholarship for each team member.