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South savors culinary success
School program earns accolades
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South Forsyth High culinary instructor Dawn Martin, left, laughs with Caitlyn Reeves as they judge brownies during a competition in January. The program at South recently has received attention as students placed in the top three at two state events. - photo by File photo

Whether it’s running a restaurant or cooking in the kitchen, South Forsyth High’s culinary students are getting noticed.

This month, students have placed in the top three at two separate state competitions and Dawn Martin, the school’s culinary arts instructor, couldn’t be more proud.

“It’s their drive and their passion for this,” she said. “They don’t hesitate to put in the hard work. They’re just phenomenal.”

For the second year in a row, the school returned home from Athens with top honors from the Georgia Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Competition.

Senior Nicolette Kirkpatrick and juniors Brittany Meier and Corey Nolan came in first place during the competition, earning a combined total of $36,000 in scholarship money to the Culinary Institute of America and the School of Culinary, Baking and Pastry Arts at Johnson and Wales University-Charlotte.

The South team bested 15 others from across the state with their chicken Alfredo entrée, served with a balsamic vinaigrette garden salad, both of which they prepared within an hour.

“They judge them on safety and sanitation, flavors, how well they come together,” Martin said.

In addition, students finished third during the National ProStart Invitational State Competition held at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta.

Unlike the first competition, ProStart is designed for everything but cooking.

“It’s focused on them having to develop the whole restaurant concept,” Martin said. “Costing out recipes, looking at the amount of personnel, doing an income statement, front and back of the house, the colors.

“[Also] why they would have it where they did, did their concept match the foods that they served, what hours of operation? Just the entire management process.”

Martin said several professionals in the local restaurant industry have worked with the students to help prepare them, giving tours of their facilities and “really spent time with us and then came back and listened to our presentation,” Martin said.