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Chili Throwdown logo
October 31, 2013

Chefs and High School Students Competed at the First Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown

Nine teams competed for the title of ultimate chili champion at the first annual Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown on October 27th at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan. High School ProStart® programs were paired up with restaurants where chefs and students worked together to create the ultimate chili concoction. The high school students are currently enrolled in the ProStart program at their school, focused on developing the culinary and management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

In the Judge’s Choice competition, the team of Watertown High School students and Windwood Country Club won first place. The winning team members were Chef Jeff Fliss from Windwood Country Club and students David Huang, Noah Listle and Nicole TenHaken. The instructor for the Watertown High School team is Jolene Goeden-Massuch.

The team of Pulaski High School students and Fox Valley Technical College won second place. The second place winning team consisted of Chef Jeff Igel from Fox Valley Technical College and students Hannah Stephanie, Kaylee Court, Brooke Baron and Danielle Robaidek. The instructor for the Pulaski High School team is Liz Moehr.

The team of Portage High School students and Elite Catering won third place. The third place team consisted of Michael Althen from Elite Catering and Portage High School students. The instructor for the Portage High School team is Jane Hemming.

In the People’s Choice Competition, a team of Badger High School students from Lake Geneva and Medusa’s took home the honors. The winning team consisted of Chef Greg Anagnos from Medusa’s and students Lula Anagnos, John Maki, Dakota Carmer and Ashley Sanew. The instructor for the Badger High School Team is Russ Tronsen.

The event was open to the public to taste and vote for their favorite chili. There was a suggested donation of $20 (minimum donation of $10) to attend. All proceeds from the event will go to support the ProStart program.

The following teams competed in the Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown:

  • Badger High School/Medusa’s
  • Badger High School/Lake Geneva School of Cooking
  • Eau Claire Memorial High School/Connell’s Supper Club
  • Eau Claire Memorial High School/Draganetti's Ristorante
  • Fort Atkinson High School/ Capn's Steakhouse
  • Portage High School/ Elite Catering
  • Preble High School/Big Tomatoes
  • Pulaski High School/ Fox Valley Technical College
  • Watertown High School/ Windwood Country Club

Celebrity judges included: Chef Michael Feker from Il Mito, Gerard Prendergast from Lake Lawn Resort, George Flees from Parkside 23 and Michael Fifarek from Derosa Corp.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation extends its sincere thanks to the following sponsors of this event:

  • ACF Geneva Lakes
  • Coca-Cola
  • Fox Valley Technical College ACF
  • Jeff Igel
  • Lake Lawn Resort
  • Reinhart Foodservice
  • RT Sanitation Training, LLC
  • Torke Coffee
  • Vollrath
  • WRA Big Four Chapter
  • WRA West Wisconsin Chapter

The planning committee for this event consists of Russ Tronsen (chair), Jeff Igel, David Ross, Rhoda Steffel, Gregg Wozniak, Richard Busalacchi, RC Schroeder, Tom Wagner and Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation staff representatives.

The ProStart program, administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and state restaurant associations, is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them.  When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce.

Wisconsin was one of the first states in the county to pilot and implement a ProStart program and currently has 4,400 students participating in the program at 90 schools throughout the state.

To learn more about the NRAEF or ProStart program, please visit www.nraef.org/prostart. For more information on the Wisconsin ProStart program, call Alex Newman at (800) 589-3211 or visit http://wirestaurant.org/ef/prostart/index.php.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the promotion, protection and improvement of the foodservice industry. The Wisconsin Restaurant Education Foundation’s mission is to promote food service as a professional career path; attract and educate future industry leaders; and provide quality training for those already working in the industry.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960