Plover, Wisconsin Resident and Stevens Point Senior High School Senior Heads to the Lone Star State For a Chance at the Title Best Teen Chef 2007

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Wisconsin teen named finalist for national Best Teen Chef 2007 competition.

This weekend, Alex Konopacky impressed the judges with his cool in a very hot kitchen.

Alex Konopacky took the top prize at The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef 2007 Local Competition held today at The Art Institutes International Minnesota. A senior at Stevens Point Senior High School, Alex chopped, simmered and sautéed his way past his fellow competitors to win a shot at taking the Best Teen Chef title and a full-tuition scholarship worth approximately $40,000 at the Best Teen Chef 2007 national competition to be held on Saturday, May 5 in Dallas, Texas.

"I can't believe I won," said Alex. "I was really nervous and the competition was tough. The judges walk around and watch what you're doing, and shout out how much time is left and it's totally nerve wracking. But I just put my head down and focused on the basics - good taste, beautifully presented, and I tried not to make too much of a mess."    

Students prepared a menu of Shrimp Cocktail, Chicken Chasseur, Sautéed Broccoli, and Rice Pilaf. They had 90 minutes to prepare their dishes, and were judged on taste, cleanliness, mise en place (organization, taste and presentation).

According to Chef John Cappellucci, Chef Director for The Art Institutes International Minnesota and judge for the competition, "We had an exceptional group of competitors here today - they all did extremely well, but we can only send one to Dallas, and Alex showed that they have the talent and focus to succeed in the national event. This was one of the closest competitions I have seen in years, and I would be honored to have all of these students as my own."

Alex will join 22 other high school seniors that will travel on to Dallas. In all, The Art Institutes will award over $250,000 in tuition scholarships.

Participating Art Institute campuses include The Art Institute of Atlanta, The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire, The Art Institute of California - Los Angeles, The Art Institute of California - Orange County, The Art Institute of California - San Diego, The Art Institute of Charlotte, The Art Institute of Colorado, The Art Institute of Dallas, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, The Art Institute of Houston, The Art Institute of Indianapolis, The Culinary Institute of Las Vegas, a division of The Art Institute of Las Vegas, The Art Institutes International Minnesota, The Art Institute of New York City, The Art Institute of Philadelphia, The Art Institute of Phoenix, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Art Institute of Seattle, The Art Institute of Tennessee - Nashville, The Art Institute of Tampa, The Art Institute of Vancouver, The Art Institute of Washington and The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago.

For more information on the Best Teen Chef Competition, visit http://www.artinstitutes.edu/btc or contact The Art Institutes International Minnesota at 1-800-777-3643 for additional information.

The Art Institutes International Minnesota is one of The Art Institutes (http://www.artinstitutes.edu), with 34 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals.

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