Two JVS senior students in the culinary arts program, Alex Pruchnicki (Avon) and Kali Seddon (Midview), recently competed in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Virtual Baking and Pastry competition and as a team, placed second.
“I can’t even begin to express how proud I am of these two students for completing this competition with all of the obstacles they encountered along the way,” said JVS Culinary Arts instructor, Chef Timothy Michitsch.
Due to the pandemic, the competitions took place remotely with all food production being held as a team and recorded on video. At the time of the completion, the JVS was on a fully remote schedule, and Chef Michitsch is grateful for the help of a local restaurant that allowed the students to still compete.
“NEMO Grille in Avon, where Alex is currently working, allowed the students to use their kitchen for the competition,” shared Michitsch. “We truly thank Chef Jen for the support.”
The baking and pastry team event recognizes participants who prove their skills through the preparation of a quick bread, choux pastry, cookie and shaped yeast bread.
Students had two hours and forty-five minutes to produce the required food items. The recording was to be done in one take, with no editing, and had to show the students on video at all times.
For Seddon, the biggest challenge was working around COVID-19 and finding a place to work. “Competing virtually was a new experience and made me appreciate in-person competitions more,” Seddon said. “Competition has always been a very serious thing for me, but through all of this, it was a lot of fun and a good learning experience.”
Pruchnicki was excited to have the opportunity to compete and represent the state of Ohio, despite all the challenges they faced. “I knew this was going to be a challenge and would push me out of my comfort zone, but I was excited to take it on.”
Both students shared that their JVS career tech program not only prepared them for the competition but for their career in the culinary field as well.
“Because of my JVS class I have learned multi-tasking and teamwork skills,” shared Seddon. “Chef Michitsch also helped us work out any bumps we hit along the way.”
“I learned so many new skills that I know will help me further my culinary career,” said Pruchnicki.