(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Culinary Arts program in Waco hosted practice sessions this week for the WorldSkills USA’s Restaurant Service contestant, and he happens to be a Texan.
Colt Schultz of League City spent his time practicing his cooking, barista, beverage service, and casual and fine dining table presentation skills ahead of WorldSkills Kazan 2019, which takes place Aug. 22-27 in Russia.
One of the highlights of the contest is making two different dishes using the flambe method.
“I had to get comfortable with that,” Schultz said. “They (the judges) will look at the height of the flame.”
Sheila Hyde, a SkillsUSA national co-chair and WorldSkills expert in Restaurant Service, is also a professor at the Food and Hospitality Institute at El Centro College in Dallas. She said it is convenient that she and Schultz live in the same state, which has made practices easier.
Hyde said TSTC’s Waco campus was chosen for training because of the Culinary Arts program’s equipment. Hyde has also worked at district and state SkillsUSA events on campus and professionally knows some of the Culinary Arts faculty.
Chef Michele Brown, TSTC’s lead instructor in the Culinary Arts program in Waco, said the campus designation as a WorldSkills USA training facility is tremendous.
“It means we have the equipment and staffing to see this excel,” she said. “Having Colt on campus really inspired our students.”
The WorldSkills USA team will have 22 members competing in 20 events, Hyde said.
Schultz appreciates the cultural outreach opportunity that WorldSkills provides while helping him perfect his culinary abilities.
“It’s just really making that passion stronger, and making connections and friends, and being open to other cultures,” Schultz said.
Schultz is a 2019 graduate of Clear Springs High School in League City. This fall, he will attend the Culinary Institute of America’s campus in Hyde Park, New York, and major in Food Business Management.
After graduation, Schultz wants to work in fine dining and hopefully open his own restaurant focused on European-style dining.
“This is my career and something I love,” he said. “I’ve kept this mentality and the connections I have made in SkillsUSA and WorldSkills. My motivation is to keep expanding these skills that I can apply later in life.”
WorldSkills is made up of 78 nations with a goal of developing vocational skills in young adults. It is a level above SkillsUSA, which is a professional organization teaching employability, leadership and technical skills that help middle school, high school and college students pursue successful careers.
For more information on WorldSkills, go to worldskills.org.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.