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Hewitt culinary team competes at nationals

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE — The Hewitt-Trussville High School Hospitality and Culinary Arts Academy competed at the National ProStart Culinary Competition in Minneapolis, Minn., earlier this month.

Out of 46 teams, the team placed 36th, according to team member Kyle Walker. Other team members are Deja Rae Stoddard and Matt Phillips. The head of the team is Chef Laura Rinsky.

This was the first time the state of Alabama was represented in the national competition.

Kyle Walker, Matt Phillips and Deja Rae Stoddard
submitted photo

The team made a appetizer composed of a scallop ceviche salad with sriracha citrus vinaigrette in a handmade jalapeno dusted tortilla and mango spheres. The team also made a rosemary braised pork loin with butternut squash, apples and edamame. That meal also included shitake parmesan polenta and white balsamic reduction. The dessert the team made was a Nutella and raspberry napoleon with caramelized banana centers, dark chocolate and red raspberry sauce, and vanilla salted caramel crunch.

The team earlier this year won top honors at the inaugural ProStart Invitational at Culinard in Birmingham. The team won more than $60,000 in scholarship money and also won the knife skills competition. The competition was judged by 18 professional chefs and industry experts across Alabama. The students were scored on knife cuts, meat fabrication, safety, sanitation, organization, teamwork, creativity, taste and presentation.

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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