LINCOLN – Students across the country are sweating blood and tears, as they compete for thousands of dollars worth of scholarships.
It is not Top Chef, but these students are taking it to the kitchen to win the gold.
“There’s a lot of scholarship opportunities,” said Herman Ammerman, the SkillsUSA adviser, “Winners of the culinary arts program could win thousands of dollars in scholarships.”
Students at Northern Penobscot Tech Region III are working in fields such as culinary, automotive and welding for the SkillsUSA Event.
“You should see the students all over the building competing against each other,” he said.
Students in the culinary program are cooking and having their work examined by professionals.
“In the hospitality and culinary industries, you’re critiqued everyday,” said Ammerman, “When a customers sits at a table and put the food in front of them, you are being critiqued. This is an awesome opportunity for students to get hands on experience from real chefs in the industries that will help them be better.”
Even for some students who have grown up in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn in this program.
“It teaches you great skills and techniques to cooking and get you prepared for college and the real life,” said Tyler Arnold, a junior student.
But behind every skilled student is a mentor looking to lead.
“Chef Herman has brought me opportunity and taken me under his wing,” said Arnold, “He helped me a lot and has grown a lot of passion in me. He’s definitely a great mentor.”
While the cake will not last forever. The work that they took pride in, is something that’s going to help them in their future.
“It’s the end product – when people say, ‘that looks and taste really good’,” said Kiara Michaud, a senior student, “And they want to learn the technique that you did. It’s really nice.”