Future chefs put their skills to the test at annual Skills USA

Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 3:44 PM EST
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"If this is what it is going to be like in a regular restaurant, then it is definitely going to be a ride."

Students from all over Maine with a passion for cooking put their skills to the test in Bangor.

They took part in Skills USA, a statewide and national competition allowing students to compete in different fields.

"It teaches them a skill or a trade in the career field of their choosing, and it teaches them not only the technical side of it, but also the soft skills as well."

These future chefs had four hours to put together a three-course meal.

They were judged on many different categories including uniform, creativity, and timing.

"You get to show what you know how to do and what you have been practicing to do, so it is pretty awesome."

The students walked into the kitchen not knowing what their main ingredients were going to be.

There were five mystery items that had to be used.

"The sausage threw me on a loop, I wasn't expecting that, but overall, everything we could use in the pantry and the cooler, it was able to work out pretty well."

"They are kind of weird objects, and they don't go together really well, so you kind of have to play with it and make them go together."

The winning students will move on to a national competition.

"They did well. There was a lot of talent here today. There is definitely some refining to do in their skills, but for some of the kids, we don't have much exposure outside of their cooking schools. They did a great job."

The hope is for the students to be able to take their cooking skills with them after high school.

"The ultimate dream for me is to someday have my own restaurant."

"I feel confident, I am happy with what I did, but if I don't get any medals, I am still proud of myself at the end."