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Duluth East culinary student to compete in state SkillsUSA Friday morning

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DULUTH, MN -

At Duluth East High School, students are able to take a college level culinary arts class.

One to three students get to compete in the SkillsUSA state competition every year.

Inside Duluth East High School lies a little secret, well maybe not so secret anymore, called the Food for Thought Cafe. 

Who are the people behind the delicious cuisine? Students like Malcolm Hall.

"When I moved down here my freshman year, I was always kind of serious about cooking. And then I took this class and I was like 'this is for me.' I really wanted to do this," said Malcolm Hall, a Duluth East senior.

Learning from a veteran chef who has worked at local restaurants like Grandma's and Augustino's is one of the perks of the class.

Chef Glenn D'Amour, the culinary arts instructor said, "I enjoy teaching the students gourmet foods. Foods that I did out in the industry."

And on Friday, the Hall will put his passion to the test in the SkillsUSA state competition.

"It's kind of like a blessing to be able to represent my community and the school," said Hall. "I'm the only student going this year so it's pretty intense. Got a lot of high stakes, so I'm looking forward to it."

"Malcolm is one of my best students, and he's going to compete. He'll do a good job," said D'Amour.

Hall has been practicing every day since December.

"I basically coach him as he goes along. If I need to show him what I'm talking about I will show him that. Often times with Malcolm, I have to pull him back. 'What if I do this, or that.' Okay, that's fine but they won't have those ingredients there so settle down," D'Amour said.

Duluth East has taken first the last three years they've gone to state, and on Friday they're looking for a fourth first place.

Hall said, "I'm hoping to win. Whatever place I get, I'm okay with, but I'm hoping to get the win."

"I'm always expecting first place out of my students," said D'Amour.

Hall will compete Friday at 10am in Minneapolis. If he wins, he will go to the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

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