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Albertville High School students will represent Alabama in national culinary competition

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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- A group of Albertville High School students can boast they're the best in the State and will represent Alabama in a national culinary competition.

Monday morning, the Albertville High School ProStart Culinary Competition Team gathers in a room unlike your typical classroom, but a facility for learning all the same. The group spent a lot of time together, preparing. "Basically we cooked six dishes," team member Alexsantos Itzep explained, "Two are appetizers, two of them are entrees, and two of them are desserts."

He's talking about the Alabama ProStart Invitational, where he and the rest of his team, students Moni Bell, Anahi Ortiz, Priscilla Lopez, and Noah Kirkland, worked together to compete against schools from across the State.

"We won the State tournament," Itzep said.

"They're the  best in the State," adds Culinary Arts Instructor Lauren Bolding.

Bolding said the students will represent the State of Alabama in the National ProStart Student Invitational in South Carolina in April. "It's just such an honor to get to be able to represent Alabama as a whole, especially now that this is our second time to be able to do that," Bolding said.

The AHS Culinary Arts Program gives students the tools they need to step into a career; a career most of the students on this exclusive team want to make their own. For now, representing their school and their State is a good way to start. "It's mind-blowing. I didn't know cooking could take you all the way to South Carolina to represent a State,"  Itzep said.

"They're just a great group of kids that have put so much work, hard work, and dedication into this competition so I'm very proud they get to go to Nationals," Bolding adds.

The students were awarded a full tuition scholarship to Jefferson State Community College Culinary and Hospitality Institute in Birmingham. They also got several partial scholarships to other culinary programs in the South.