“It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life,” said Chattahoochee Technical College Culinary Arts Student Noah Bazarte. “I have never experienced that much crunch and pressure in 90 minutes.”
Bazarte, who lives with his wife and three children in East Cobb, is this year’s statewide gold medalist for the Culinary Arts competition at SkillsUSA. He and the two other gold medalists from Chattahoochee Technical College have secured spots to compete at the national level this summer in Louisville, Ky.
After this semester, he will be garnering knowledge from the college’s program director Chef Hillary Gallagher, who has had several students compete at this level in the past.
The competition itself consisted of competing against other culinary students in completing a soup, salad with vinaigrette, vegetable, and chicken dish in the 90-minute time limit. According to Bazarte, the most challenging aspect was the soup and salad for which he only had 30 minutes to concentrate on during the allotted time.
To advance to the state level, Bazarte competed in an in-house competition at Chattahoochee Technical
College where he came in first. Gallagher said it was his flavors that set him apart from the other potential competitors.
“He wanted to win so he dedicated himself to it,” said Gallagher. “He practiced both in the classroom and at home to make sure he was prepared. I know he’s going to carry that same dedication through to the next level of the competition.
With more than 12 years of experience in the industry, Bazarte is not a stranger to the kitchen. He is currently working at Table & Main in Roswell where he works both the grill and as garde manger, where he said the other staff has helped him prepare for competition. It is that process of learning about the kitchen that brought him back to school.
“Being 33 without a degree put a cap on my potential in this industry,” Bazarte said. “I knew that if I wanted to grow and succeed that I needed to earn that credential.”
Looking for that education, Bazarte heard from others that Chattahoochee Technical College would be a
good option for him. “I heard that the program was a good one and that it was taught by the book,” he said.
“It’s giving me a nice foundation, the credibility of a state school and the lower cost than other programs.”
Chattahoochee Technical College offers diploma and degree programs through its respected Culinary
Arts program at the Mountain View Campus. The 62-hourdegree program prepares students for the culinary profession. The program emphasizes a combination of culinary theory and practical application necessary for successful employment. Graduates who are current practitioners will benefit through enhancement of career potential. Those entering the culinary arts field will be prepared to pursue diverse opportunities as cooks, bakers or caterers/culinary managers.
Chattahoochee Technical College sent 17 students from various programs to compete in 13 categories in
the statewide competition. Competitors brought home several medals, including three gold, two silver and two bronze. In addition to Bazarte, medalists included Michael Wells, who received gold in Criminal Justice and Ryan Shearouse who received a gold in Diesel. Silver medalists included Alec Beaty in Restaurant Service and the team of Michele Malone, Roxana Montano and Michael Poulos in Crime Scene Investigation. Tyler Hester received a bronze medal in Diesel, while Alex Levental received the bronze medal in Restaurant Service.
SkillsUSA is a national organization serving high school and college students and professional members
enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations in high schools and technical colleges. SkillsUSA sponsors competitions across the United States.
Students begin by competing locally and continue to state and national contests if their scores advance them. Wells, Bazarte, and Shearouse, who received first place honors in their respective skills contests, will advance to the national competition in Louisville , Ky. this summer.
For more information on Chattahoochee Technical College and its programs, visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu or call 770-528-4545.