Top young chefs in Michigan cook off for scholarship - WNEM TV 5

Top young chefs in Michigan cook off for scholarship

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The heat was on at a statewide high school Culinary Arts Competition held in Mid-Michigan.

Hundreds of students faced off against each other to find out who has the best cooking team in the entire state. The competition sizzled as students representing 20 schools, career and technical centers from across Michigan met for the annual two-day competition.

At stake was a $1 million in scholarship money.

The team from Riverview Community High School was more than ready to sear the competition.

"Chances of winning?  I don't know, I'd say kind of decent,” Anthony Phan said.

"I'm kind of nervous but it's fun, so I’m OK with it,” Paige Butkin said.

The judges passed along critiques to the teams as they compete, helping them learn how to become better cooks.

One chef who competed in the event is now an instructor at an educational district.

"To be able to come back to the same school that I graduated from and teach them the same way that I learned was a big step in everything,” Chef Jared Funk said.

The competition isn't just about cooking. It also involves marketing and getting people to come to your restaurant.

"You've got to know how to treat your guests. You’re basically the ground-up floor plan of what you’re doing,” Funk said.

The competition is sponsored by the Michigan Restaurant Association. It hopes young people will be inspired to work in the culinary arts field.

"What we're hearing from our members is that there's a shortage of good, qualified able work force - people in this industry that want to be and stay in this industry. So, we're hoping this is key in developing talent for the next generation,” said Justin Winslow, CEO of the Michigan Restaurant Association.

The winning teams from Monday’s competition will represent Michigan in Charleston, South Carolina next month.

>>>Slideshow: Top young chefs cook off for scholarship money<<<

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