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Culinary Team Earns 2nd Place in Prostart Chili Competition

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The Culinary Team earned 2nd place at the ProStart Chili Throw down on Saturday (Nov. 5) at the Grand Meridian in Appleton.

“All the chili here is great,” judge Chinco Pope said at the annual competition where local schools gathered to compete for the title of who made the best chili.

Prostart is a two-year program getting kids into restaurant and culinary development. They put on competitions like this one to raise money and give scholarships to students looking to pursue a career in culinary arts.

This chili throw down was just one of many competitions it holds. Prostart reaches out to 140,000 students in terms of competitions and classes. Specifically, five NHS students participated in this event.

Neenah, while tied for 1st place in the first round, unfortunately fell short of to Rhinelander High School who earned 1st place.

Neenah finished in second place out of 12 schools that participated.

The Culinary Team includes: seniors Cheyenne Calaway and Matthew Piortowski, juniors Jacob Solis and freshmen Jakob Reilien and Nikki Messick.

The team made a Smoked Brisket Chill. This semi-spicy dish was topped with cheese and a special sauce with the optional cheddar biscuit.

Prior to the event, the team was able to visit Zuppa’s kitchen to get a feel for a real restaurant kitchen experience thanks to its adviser Mrs. Deb Garbe.  In addition to the visit, Zuppa’s sponsored the team by supplying some of the ingredients and general culinary strategies.

Zuppa’s was not the only sponsor. Senior Cheyenne Calaway contacted Tim’s Full Belli Deli who ended up supplying the brisket for Neenah’s prize-winning chili.

After the event, the students felt satisfied with their place in the competition. Humble in defeat, Calaway reflected that the chili could have been thicker.

Overall, Neenah students came back after the eventful day with experience under their aprons and chili in their bellies.

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Culinary Team Earns 2nd Place in Prostart Chili Competition