Three students in the Culinary Arts program at Wayne Technical and Career Center recently attended a culinary competition at Monroe Community College, and while they were competing for first place, their generosity is what truly stood out.
The first-place finisher was set to receive $750, second place $500 and third place $250; all prize money being paid in MCC scholarship funds. The competition was open to all High School culinary students, with each school allowed to send three.
With eight students interested and only three students allowed to enter the competition, the Culinary Arts program had to host their own in-house competition to determine who would be sent. The three that attended were Gregory Prober and Julia Friedman, both from Palmyra-Macedon Central School District, and Donovan Pierson from Sodus Central School District.
It was a very competitive cook-off with only a three-point difference in scores for the top five finishers, and a less than one-point difference for the top three. All three of the Wayne Technical and Career Center students finished in the top five, with Gregory placing second and Julia placing third.
While winning was the overall goal, it was Gregory and Julia’s generous act after the competition that truly made them winners. After the finishers had been announced, Gregory and Julia pulled their Culinary Arts Instructor, Brian Mattice, aside and told him that they wanted to donate their winnings to a competitor from a different school who planned to attend Monroe Community College in the Fall.
Mattice teaches the Culinary Arts program alongside Brad Yearwood, and both noted how proud they are of their students. “It was an incredibly generous act by Gregory and Julia,” said Mattice. “It made us feel a great deal of pride.”
For Gregory and Julia, their act of kindness was a defining moment of the competition. Winning was simply the icing on the cake.