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Ocean Prime Tampa is pleased to announce that associates Manuel Parrado and Edinson Mejia joined fellow Leto High School culinary team members in receiving their fifth consecutive first place title at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation’s (FRLAEF) 17th annual ProStart Culinary Team Competitions. The competitions took place on March 3-4 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

In addition to Parrado and Mejia, the Leto High School team included Angel Nieves, Chyna Walker and Moises Jimenez, who competed against 47 culinary teams from across the state of Florida. The participating teams demonstrated their creative ability through the development of a three-course menu, complete with recipes and food costs, and preparing the meal in 60-minutes using two butane burners with no electricity or running water.

The Leto High School culinary team created a delectable three-course meal featuring:

Seared sea scallops with guacamole and pickled vegetables 

Creekstone Farms premium black angus filet mignon served with mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, veal reduction sauce and Danish blue cheese chantilly 

Orange chocolate Bavarian on a chocolate crisp topped with raspberry Gelėe and garnished with raspberry whipped cream, nut crunch, orange supremes, raspberries and a caramelized Marcona almond

As winners of the ProStart Culinary Team Competitions, the team will move on to compete in the 16th annual National ProStart Invitational on April 28-30 at the Charleston Area Convention Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

The ProStart Culinary Team Competitions are a series of state and regional competitions hosted by partners of ProStart, the National Restaurant Association’s cornerstone program. The winning teams continue on to the NRAEF National ProStart Invitational, America’s premier competition for high school students studying culinary arts and restaurant management. The competition provides students with an opportunity to win coveted trophies, medals and scholarships from the nation’s top culinary arts and hospitality management programs.

The award-winning culinary arts program at Leto High School equips students with professional skills needed to excel in the culinary industry. The school-based restaurant and catering business provides an ideal environment for students to apply their acquired culinary skills. Under the direction of Debra Hladky, the culinary arts program has won several championships across the state of Florida.

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