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Elgin High Clumsy Chefs take state title; on to nationals

From left  ElgClumsy Chef students Eduardo Rios ColFlanagan teacher Ann Leider Luis Maldonado YahairBonillshowcase their winning restaurant concept. |

From left, Elgin Clumsy Chef students Eduardo Rios, Colin Flanagan, teacher Ann Leider, Luis Maldonado, and Yahaira Bonilla showcase their winning restaurant concept. | Photo courtesy of School District U46

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Updated: March 15, 2014 6:21AM

ELGIN — The Elgin High Clumsy Chefs restaurant management team put together a winning restaurant concept that earned first place in the Illinois ProStart Competition.

Students Colin Flanagan, Yahaira Bonilla, Luis Maldonado and Eduardo Rios will continue on to the National Restaurant Association ProStart Competition in Minnesota, where they will represent the state of Illinois, Elgin High School and their Clumsy Chef Classroom.

“Over the last few months, the school’s restaurant management team has researched, prepared, practiced and practiced some more,” said Elgin High Clumsy Chef teacher Ann Leider in a release from School District U46. “They went into the Illinois ProStart competition confident and proud of their restaurant concept.”

The students were given a fictional city called ProStartville. Using the demographics, they picked the location for their restaurant, their target market, type of cuisine, menu items, menu layout, menu prices, interior design and decor, restaurant layout of both front and back of house, organizational chart, and two marketing tactics to promote the concept. When their business proposal was complete, the team prepared a PowerPoint and speech.

Following their presentation, students answered questions from judges regarding sanitation, product procurement, food prices, workplace injuries, customer service and more.

According to Leider, the Clumsy Chef restaurant management students also were awarded some very large and generous scholarships from a number of the top culinary and hospitality schools.

“The Clumsy Chef win proves that students are learning critical thinking skills to transform classroom knowledge into career place solutions,” said U46 Superintendent José Torres in the release. “This is the second year our Clumsy Chefs have won state and a testament to the excellence of the program and the work of Ms. Leider.”

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