Local High Schoolers Led By Top Atlanta Chef Heading To National Cooking Competition

May 10, 2010

Lenbrook Chef has Mentored the Past Two Winning Teams from Georgia


Meadowcreek High School students will be competing against 38 schools from across the country at the National ProStart Culinary Competition 2010 in Kansas City, April 30.

Led by Lenbrook Executive Chef Richard Hurst, the five high school students will cook a three-course Mediterranean-style meal.

The team took home top honors in last month's 2010 Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia (HEFG) State Culinary Competition. HEFG is a non-profit group that helps more than 2,000 students in 78 Georgia high schools gain opportunities to learn about careers in the hospitality industry.

The team’s winning menu included pan-seared scallops, stuffed chicken breast with vegetable paella, sautéed shoe-string asparagus, lemon mouse parfait with graham cracker crisp and other delicious dishes.

To prepare for the national competition, the team has been practicing five to six hours a day after school, Monday through Friday. As one of Atlanta's top chef's, Hurst has graciously volunteered his time to help train and mentor the high school students, despite having a full time job. "It's truly a joy to work with students who are enjoying the art of cooking, and exploring the ins and outs of so many cuisines," Lenbrook Executive Chef Richard Hurst said. "Our team is full of young talent, and to mentor them on a daily basis has been inspiring, and so much fun."

Team Captain Linh Nguyen, 18, of Atlanta, said the long hours are paying off. “It takes dedication, but we are learning time management, team work and accountability.”

Chef Richard Hurst, a native of Puerto Rico, trained at the Hotel Management School at the University of the East in Puerto Rico and has a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta. He has been sous chef at Rainwater Restaurant in Alpharetta. In 2003, he became the executive chef for the opening of Fuego Café in Alpharetta and Midtown.

Since 2004, he has been associated with Compass Group, the world’s leading food service provider, first as executive chef for the Bank of America headquarters in downtown Atlanta and then as executive chef for the CEO of SunTrust Bank before moving to Lenbrook.

A premier senior-living community, Lenbrook appeals to the active, discerning senior who wants a rich program of amenities and services, along with the convenience, security and continuity of an on-site health center. Its recent $166 million expansion includes 140 spacious residences, and three dining venues, including an exquisite fine dining option.

Lenbrook is also the recent recipient of multiple, national interior design awards and a five-year reaccreditation, which secures its ongoing designation as the only nationally accredited CCRC in metro Atlanta. Lenbrook, a not-for-profit, is located in Atlanta’s stylish Buckhead neighborhood and first opened to residents in July 1983.