Woodruff students heading to DC after taking top cooking title

The Sysco State Championship Trophy, taken home for the sixth time by Woodruff culinary arts...
The Sysco State Championship Trophy, taken home for the sixth time by Woodruff culinary arts students.(WEEK)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 12:25 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PEORIA (25News Now) - Future chefs training for a career in the kitchen now can add ‘State Champions’ to their resumes.

Last weekend, culinary arts students at Woodruff Career and Technical Center traveled to Chicago for the annual Restaurant Management Competition. Organized by the National Restaurant Association, it’s open to schools statewide associated with ProStart, a culinary program for high school students.

Winning is nothing new for Woodruff, either. This is the sixth year in a row the school has taken home the title. That only helps open the door for students to get recognition for their work from potential future employers.

“There’s schools out there, there are companies out there, just recruiting these students because they’re the best of the best,” says Jetty Miedema, Woodruff Culinary Arts Teacher and Program Coordinator.

The competition means more than just creating a three course meal. Students were also required to develop a restaurant concept and market it alongside the food.

“For me personally, it’s bettering people’s experiences in a restaurant, giving them the best experience they can have, but for everybody it’s different,” says competitor and Woodruff senior Connor Lemont.

Now, it’s off to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national competition. The win already brought in $12,000 in scholarships apiece for each student. If they place top five at the national level, that number gets bumped up to $200,000.

The national competition will happen the week of May 2.