A national trophy for Howard High's culinary team [Elkridge]

Personally, I just love to cook and have become somewhat of a Food Network groupie. I have gleaned useful tips.

However, right here in Howard County is the local culinary talent from Howard High School that took first place in the Maryland Pro Start Competition on March 7, and, with that qualifying trophy, went on to compete at the national level, taking third place in the 12th annual National Pro Start Culinary Competition held April 19 to 21 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront at Harbor East.

Think about this: We are talking about third place from a field of contenders representing 43 states and territories, including Guam and a Department of Defense school in Germany for U.S. service members!

Kudos to the team consisting of seniors Natalie Singleton and Kiran Martin, who also just happens to be the Maryland Pro Start Student of the Year; and juniors Darcey Bodziony, Jessie Green and Emma Spalding.

They had just 60 minutes to prepare and plate shrimp, scallop and lump crab ceviche as a first course; paneed cocoa chipotle rubbed teres major for the main course; and a salted caramel coffee mousse for dessert.

The students were led by faculty members Rhonda Lang, Howard County Applications and Research Lab, and Dayna Spoto, Howard High; and mentored by chef Marc Dixon, of Bistro Blanc, who helped develop the menu and guide the team. Their placing is the highest any Maryland team has placed in this national competition.

The National Pro Start Culinary event is the country's premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and the culinary arts. The winning teams collectively took home $1.4 million in scholarship money. Congratulations to Howard High School's culinary masters!

The Elkridge Heritage Society will meet Tuesday, May 14, at its headquarters, the Brumbaugh House, 5825 Main St., in Elkridge.

You are invited to an evening with Fred Dorsey, who will give a presentation about Belmont and its inhabitants over the years. The program begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Mark your calendar now for a fundraiser on behalf of the society. The Brumbaugh Bash is June 8, 4 to 8 p.m., at the Brumbaugh House.

All are invited. Tickets are $25; $10 for children, ages 6 to 10; children younger than 6 are free.

The event will feature a barbecue feast and soft drinks, along with beer and wine for adults, 21 and older. The society is proud of recently completed renovations to its historic building in Elkridge, and would love to share the workmanship, as well as the mission of the Heritage Society.

Tickets are available online at http://www.elkridgeheritage.org, or mail your check to the Elkridge Heritage Society, 5825 Main St., Elkridge, MD 21075. If you do mail a check, follow up with an email to info@elkridgeheritage.org. Tickets will also be available at the May 14 general meeting.

For additional information, call 443-620-3347.

The students, faculty and staff at Elkridge Elementary School will be pounding their hooves at the third annual Elkster 5K Race on May 18, at 8 a.m., on the school grounds at 7075 Montgomery Road, in Elkridge.

The event benefits the PTA family programs; proceeds will help cover the cost of assemblies and educational presentations. Race applications are available from the school's front office or online at http://www.runningmaryland.com. (Click on ELKSTER 5K.) For additional information, or if you wish to volunteer on race day or make a donation on behalf of the event, contact Jeanne DeBoy at jld532@verizon.net.

The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department's Junior Firefighters will sponsor a youth dance, for ages 9 to 15, with a Music-Music theme on May 18, 7 to 10 p.m., at the fire hall, 6275 Old Washington Road. Tickets are available at the door for $10; a maximum of 200 will be sold. Food and beverages — including pizza, corn dogs, pretzels, nachos, candy, water and sodas — will also be sold at the dance.

The department has a "no exceptions" policy on appropriate behavior and dress code for its dances, and also enforces a strict adult sign-in and sign-out procedure for attendance. For more information, call 410-761-6633 (then select option 5), or go to http://www.ElkridgeVFD.org.

If you've got news or upcoming events, kudos or any other notables to share, I'd love to hear about it.

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