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Norwalk Spear

Norwalk Spear

Norwalk ProStart Culinary Team

Norwalk culinary team places in ProStart State Competition
Sophomore+Conner+Emswiler+%28left%29%2C+sophomore+Sabrina+Hautekeete%2C+and+junior+Keegan+Johnson%2C+who+is+team+captain%2C+compete+on+Feb.+27%2C+2024+at+the+ProStart+state+competition+at+HyVee+Hall.+The+Norwalk+ProStart+team+won+fourth+place+in+the+competition.
Chris Basinger
Sophomore Conner Emswiler (left), sophomore Sabrina Hautekeete, and junior Keegan Johnson, who is team captain, compete on Feb. 27, 2024 at the ProStart state competition at HyVee Hall. The Norwalk ProStart team won fourth place in the competition.

Beet Tartare, Petite Crème Pâtisserie Brûle Tart, Lemon honey vinaigrette, this is not a restaurant menu, this is the menu of the Norwalk ProStart Culinary Team.

“I think our students did really well in the competition,” said principal Basinger. “It looked amazing. I tasted it a couple of times and it tasted really good. I think ours looked better than anybody else’s, the winner wasn’t impressive to me. I don’t know what the judges saw that led them to get 1st place.”

Principal Basinger said that the team has grown a lot this year.

“I think they probably learned a lot this year,” said Principal Basinger. “I saw the first dish they made and I saw the last dish they made. Keegan Johnson as a team captain, he was at top the whole time. Their ability to communicate and collaborate are skills that are going to help no matter what career they decide to go to.”

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Keegan Johnson, team captain and junior at Norwalk High School, said that he first got involved with the team his freshman year.

“I took Foods one my freshman year,” he said. “Based on my brother’s experiences when he was on the team in high school, I knew it would be a fun time. Molina wanted me to try it out.”

The Norwalk ProStart team placed fourth in the ProStart State competition. Johnson said finishing the competition was a rewarding moment for the team.

“I’d say the most memorable moment was the cut off at the ProStart State competition,” he said. “We finished within less than a second of the timer, and I was really proud of the work that the team put in to get the result.”

Sophomore Sabrina Hautekeete, who is a member of the Norwalk ProStart team, cooks on Apr. 30 at the Warrior Cafe. Sabrina plans to attend DMACC for Culinary Arts upon graduation. (Dulguun Batzaya)

Aidan Basinger, junior at Norwalk High School, said he became involved with the team through his cooking interests.

“So this year, Molina had brought it up to me and asked me if I would be one of the members,” he said. “I’ve taken one of the food classes every year in high school. I’ve been interested in cooking for pretty much a majority of my life.”

Basinger said that the team’s menu is more unique than anything you may find online.

“You won’t find any of them online because all of our recipes are from scratch and completely original,” he said. “My most memorable experience is going to the Capital. We went to the Capitol and got to share with a bunch of the politicians all of our views on the program and what we want to accomplish through it.”

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About the Contributor
Dulguun Batzaya
Dulguun Batzaya, Staff Writer
Dulguun Batzaya is a senior at Norwalk High School and foreign exchange student with the FLEX exchange program. This is his first year in journalism class, but he is already proving his aptitude in the subject. Being an active member in the school, he is involved in student council, volunteering, and being a cornerback for the JV-Football team. In his free time, Dulguun practices his six-string guitar. Something he aspires to do is pursue a career in Diplomacy and International-Relations. “I was just interested in challenging myself, and learning how it is to spread news to people,” he said.
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