WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Taste of Victory: Local teen wins top student chef in Wisconsin


(WEAU) – Ready, set, cook! The trend of cooking shows are brewing up all over television and local student chefs are mixing fun and blending education while making their way to the top.

"My dad's a baker so I always liked cooking and I just kinda learned from him,” said Pat Cater, Senior at Memorial High School.

Since the middle of high school, Pat Cater has catered to taste buds around him.

"I love breakfast,” said Cater.

Now he's the number one student chef in Wisconsin and is a National qualifier.

"They called my name for top and I was pretty excited,” said Cater.

It’s all thanks to his skills and an organization called, FCCLA.

"FCCLA is our student organization for the Family and Consumer Science Department. It's a career and technical organization,” said Laura Brooks, FCCA Adviser.

Laura Brooks says it gives students opportunities that can't be given during a normal school day.

“I'd like to open up a restaurant,” said Cater.

"We had 3 different students competing in pastry and baked goods and they go in and get assigned a baked good product,” said Brooks.

But this chopping and cooking at the state level isn't as easy as it looks.

"They’re put into teams. They get 20 minutes to figure out their time schedule and time to get their ingredients and produce their results,” said Brooks.

"I had to make a chicken supreme, which is just chicken and we seared it in a pan and baked it in the oven and a rice pilaf which is rice with onions and white sauce. We had to make a salad with mustard vinaigrette,” said Cater.

When it’s time to judge, it’s about taste, presentation and about the cleanliness of your kitchen.

"I've really learned a lot and you know deadlines and to do stuff under pressure," said Cater.

Yet no matter what new dish these students learn, the future is looking bright.

"I really wanted to be a marine and I figured going into the military be a great choice to pay for my culinary school. If you love what you do, you never work,” said Cater.


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