Davies culinary students earn spot in nation’s top 10

Davies culinary students earn spot in nation’s top 10

The William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School culinary team pose with a three-course meal they prepared in under an hour during a competition. From left are Fabian Vargas of North Providence, holding the sea scallop appetizer; Alexia Guzman of Providence; Britney Fernandez, of North Providence, with the main course, pan-seared duck breast with vegetables; and Victoria Carrion, of Pawtucket, who displays a white chocolate raspberry mousse for dessert. (Breeze photos by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – A team of four students from the William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School took the floor of the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence April 28, to represent the state in the National ProStart Invitational, a national secondary school culinary competition. Davies placed among the top 10 schools in the nation, ranking 8th.

The team is composed of juniors Victoria Carrion of Pawtucket, Britney Fernandez and Fabian Vargas of North Providence and sophomore Alexia Guzman of Providence. They are led by culinary instructor Chef Santos Nieves.

During the competition, students had 60 minutes to prepare a three-course meal from scratch. They are equipped with only two burners, making time crucial, and must follow 20 pages of competition rules. Students are also required to design a complete menu, including proper cost determinations, and demonstrate teamwork, plating and cutting skills and other techniques.

The team prepared a menu of pan-seared scallops, pan-seared duck breast and a white chocolate raspberry mousse for dessert.

The meal preparation is done live, under the eye of judges, industry professionals and spectators. During the 60 minutes, the students are allowed to converse only with each other.

They advanced to nationals after winning the Rhode Island state competition on Feb. 15, and succeeding again on March 24, taking first place at the New England ProStart Regional competition in Portland, Maine.

Approximately 400 culinary students from 50 high schools participated in the competition.

Britney Fernandez, of North Providence, is all smiles as she roasts root vegetables in a frying pan, including beats, carrots and parsnips, to be served with a pan-seared duck breast.