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Chef Peter Gets Chugiak Students Cooking

Serving Up Success [photo]

Cooking is fun as well as serious business. ProStart is a nationwide program sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Their ProStart Invitational Competition offers culinary encouragement – and some serious scholarships. High school students in a Culinary Arts program using the ProStart curriculum can enroll in the Invitational as teams, via their school.

For several years now, Dena’ina Center Executive Sous-Chef Peter Fontanez has volunteered his time mentoring a Chugiak High ProStart Team. He has been teaching at Chugiak and had the Team come down to Dena’ina for some excellent hands-on experience. This year’s Team — consisting of Justin Carr, Sierra Carr, Travis Compton and Jessica Eelbode, plus alternate Calvin James — helped him serve over 2,000 Iditarod racers in March. In addition, Peter trained them for the Competition in Dena’ina’s spectacular new kitchen, preparing a challenging three course menu in less than 60 minutes.

Chef Peter’s and the Team’s efforts paid off handsomely this year when the Team won second place at the Alaska ProStart Competition on April 3rd. The students were awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships and in good sportsmanship wished the winners of East High success representing Alaska at the Nationals in Kansas.

On May 12th, the Anchorage Education Association honored Chef Peter with the “Friends of Education Award” for his diligent and tireless work supporting culinary education in Alaska.

The Anchorage Convention Centers are proud to have Peter Fontanez and his true spirit of community involvement on board. Congrats Chef Peter!

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