SAUK RAPIDS - This week’s All-Star Student is pursuing a career in culinary and hospitality, and is getting a jump start in high school. Madison Waseca is a member of the Pro-Start Culinary program at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

Madison Waseca searing the scallops for her appetizer.
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

"When I was sophomore I came out and I followed the team. I learned everything they did, and I just enjoyed it a lot so when I became a junior I decided to go out for the team," says Waseca.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the program.

She has enjoyed cooking since a young age, and it’s in her blood.

"When I was younger I always liked working in my father’s restaurant, and one of his servers was in the culinary team too, and she mentioned it to me," says Waseca.

Now she is the captain of the management team. Mary Levinski is the adviser and coach of the management team.

"Always had a passion for working in the kitchen, as well as working in the front of the house," says Levinski, "She’s the one who’s coordinating our restaurant concept, and so she does very well, and she’s very talented both with knife skills and menu creations."

Wasesca says the management team essentially creates a restaurant.

We market it, we find out our target market, drop a floor plan, and then we create this whole persona, and we pitch it to judges who are our investors. We’ll come up with a board, a ten minute presentation, and then a 30-page book.

Levinski says, "she’s kind of been spear heading that part of the competition, and creating a really unique idea for a restaurant concept, and so we’re hoping that at state competition it will take us to nationals."

Waseca's appetizer she made during team practice.
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

Last year Waseca was a member of the team that took second place at state. She won best dessert.  During the teams’ practice this year she made an appetizer with scallops, a carrot puree, a roasted carrot, a pickled carrot, garnished with an orange, and fried purple potatoes.

I am really excited because I one day want to be a business owner, and own my own restaurant.

Waseca has applied to the Culinary Arts Institute of American in the Greystone Division in St. Helena California, and the experience she’s getting here is helping towards her dream.

"So far it’s helped me because it’s very situational," says Waseca,  "You learn how to think on your feet. You learn how everything comes together, and if anything were to be thrown at you in the real world this kind of prepares you to do something, get yourself out there, and think outside the box."



If you know a student like Madison, nominate them below as WJON's All-Star Student.
It can be any student, in any grade, participating in any activity.

Nominate A Student Today!