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West Sound Technical Skills Center Culinary Arts Students Cater Governor’s Inaugural Ball

The Governor’s Inaugural Ball on January 16th in Olympia was a happening place, filled with live music, tuxedoes and full length ball gowns. Pampering the guests were 21 hand-picked vendors providing a wide variety of hors oeuvres and desserts. Among this group of finely skilled professionals were Culinary Arts students from West Sound Technical Skills Center, located in Bremerton. The students were thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate the culinary skills they have been developing and refining in over the last two years in Janine Colburn’s Culinary Arts program.

Their primary assignment – set up a chocolate fountain with a variety of dipping fruits, cakes and cookies. Preparation for this event began weeks ahead of time. More than 8,000 strawberries needed to be cleaned and hulled, pineapple was sliced and 2,000 brownies, vanilla wafers and Rice Krispy treats were prepared, cut and wrapped for transportation. Fifteen coolers were loaded on the school bus shortly after noon and the adventure began. 

When they arrived at the event WST students were partnered with Lake Washington Technical College to melt the chocolate and setup the fountain. During the evening student maintained the fountain and also prepared and served desserts. Carter’s Chocolates and other businesses invited West Sound Tech students to assist with serving of their desserts. At 2:00 A.M. when the school bus rolled back into Bremerton to unload supplies, the students were exhausted, covered with chocolate but delighted with the whole experience.

Student Robyn Smurthwaite said “while they were the youngest participants at this event, they were totally prepared and capable of performing to the standard set by the other vendors”. West Sound Tech students loved the challenge associated with this affair, and felt the experience was totally worth it. Each student involved in the Inaugural Ball was provided with a Certificate of Participation that will complement their growing résumés.

West Sound Technical Skills Center students would also like to express their appreciation to the West Sound Tech Foundation and Washington State Chef’s Association for supporting them in this experience. This event would not have been possible without their help.