Two Columbia Students Won National Culinary and Baking Contests

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COLUMBIA - Two Columbia students, who won the SkillsUSA national culinary and baking competition last week, shared their experience with KOMU on Monday.

Hailey King, a 2013 Rock Bridge High School graduate, won first place in the Culinary Arts competition. Heather Pitt, a 2013 Hickman High School graduate, won first place in the Commercial Baking competition.

"What makes this big is that we haven't had two students who both won first place in the past ten years," Chef Brook Harlan with the Columbia Career Center said.

During the competition, King prepared chicken fabrication, along with salad, soup, and a sauteed entree.

"Timing is the most important," King said. "We were trained several different ways to prepare for that."

Both King and Pitt were trained for the entire year with chefs at the Columbia Area Career Center.

"Training here helps get to know the competition better, and learn what to do to make it better, and be more organized and time efficient," Pitt said.

The state contest began in March and the national contest was held on June 27 at Bartle Hall in Kansas City. Students from most of the 50 states participated.

Pitt said she received a full scholarship to Johnson Wales University, N.C., majoring in baking and pastry. King will attend Johnson Wales University in Providence, R.I., but she said she hasn't decided her major yet.

For pictures about the competition, please visit here.