Molly Matthaei

Jackson Hole High School and Summit Innovations School culinary instructor Molly Matthaei told the school board Wednesday that her culinary team cleaned up at a recent competition.

The Jackson Hole High School culinary teams cooked up a pair of wins at the recent state competitions.

Every year, the culinary program competes in two contests, one in which a team of students cooks a fine dining meal on what amounts to a camp stove and another in which the restaurant management side presents in a “Shark Tank” style pitch session.

“We swept both divisions,” chef Molly Matthaei, who heads the program, told the school board at its Wednesday meeting.

At the Wyoming Prostart Invitational, put on by the Wyoming Restaurant and Lodging Association and the National Restaurant Association, the culinary team had to create a three-course meal on a butane stove, rather than using a commercial kitchen. The menu included a salad with duck-fat croutons, poached quail egg and truffle mascarpone cream; an entree of sea scallops; and a green tea and matcha cake for dessert.

“It could fit in any fine dining restaurant in town or anywhere in the country,” Matthaei said about the prize-winning food.

The judges also liked the Jackson students’ pitch for “aggressively vegetarian” heavy-metal food trucks, Matthaei said, giving them top billing. Even in the cattle country of Casper, where the competition was held, the idea for vegetarian food won out.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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