SHS senior competing for Best Teen Chef 2007
In less than a month, Summit High School senior Pat Dunn will be on his way to Dallas to prepare a meal and compete against 22 other regional teen chef competition winners.Dunn, who is in the ProStart culinary arts program at the high school, took the top prize in The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef 2007 in Denver.
“I just kind of did my thing and had fun,” he said. “When it was all said and done with I didn’t care what place I got. I had a fun time in the kitchen.”Dunn first took a catering class his freshman year. After that he was hooked. He saw the older students in ProStart and knew that was the route he wanted to take.Since then, in addition to the training Dunn gets at school, he is doing an internship at Food Hedz in Frisco with Chef David Welch. And whether he is cooking for family, friends or neighbors, his favorite moments are when “someone comes up to you and says ‘I really like it.’ It puts a smile on your face,” said Dunn, who enjoys creating all dishes and in particular is a fan of French cooking.
At the regional competition in March, he went up against eight other teens, including one who traveled from Ohio and one who traveled from New Hampshire to compete in Colorado. They all had 90 minutes to prepare a menu of shrimp cocktail, sautéed breast of chicken, rice pilaf and broccoli sauté.In the end, Dunn beat out the other teens based on taste, plate presentation and cleanliness.”The work experience and knowledge from ProStart gave me a good foundation,” said Dunn, who was given three weeks to practice the dish before the competition.
Chef Shannon Hayashi of The Art Institute of Colorado, said in a press release, “We had an exceptional group of competitors … They all did extremely well, but we can only send one to Dallas, and Patrick showed that he has the talent and focus to success in the national event.”Dunn will be traveling to Denver once a week leading up to the competition to work with Hayashi, practicing a new dish for the national competition.After graduating in June, Dunn plans to continue to hone his culinary skills and earn a degree in culinary arts and then someday open a restaurant. If Dunn wins one of the top three slots at nationals May 5, he will be awarded a full-tuition scholarship worth about $40,000 to the school he chooses.
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