Ramon Cabrera and Jaemima Borgella make up the dynamic Culinary Arts team from Lake Worth High (School District of Palm Beach County) that recently placed top five again this year after their outstanding competitive performance against 54 high schools across the State of Florida at the “14th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competitions” on March 5, 2014 at the Convention Center in Orlando, FL.
The ProStart competition attracts participants from all over Florida, and the teams traditionally consist of teams with four members; accomplishing this level of excellence with two Culinary Arts students is a commendable achievement. This is the second time Lake Worth High’s Culinary Academy has participated in the competition and currently ranks top five in the ProStart High School program of Florida.
The Florida Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) is responsible for the oversight of the ProStart School-to-Career Program on the state level. The curriculum was designed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to teach, test, and award industry-recognized certificates to students meeting high academic standards in hospitality education. The ProStart program was developed to increase the quality and employability of today’s high school graduates by providing them with training related to important job skills as well as opportunities for careers and higher education.
The ProStart program introduces high school students to careers in foodservice and teaches the basic skills and knowledge they need for success in the industry. This is accomplished through on-the-job training and experience, coupled with a dynamic and comprehensive curriculum.
Florida’s tourism industry demands topnotch skilled individuals in the hospitality trades. Programs with curriculum designs to meet the future challenges of a global society will help Florida to retain its status as the “Sunshine State”, but furthermore will establish it as the “Sunshine Capital of the World”.
Get to know the nature or "soul" of Florida through its state tree, bird and flower (attached list).
(Photo top left: Ramon Cabrera and Jaemima Borgella)
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office, Mar. 2014
Facts About Florida's State Tree
· The official Florida state tree is the sabal palm. It is also known as the palmetto, sabal palmetto and the cabbage palm. The tree is a member of the Arecaceae family and is native to the southeastern United States, Cuba and the Bahamas.
· In 1953, the sabal palm was designated as the official state tree of Florida. The tree is represented on the state flag within the great seal.
· The sabal palm reaches up to 80 feet in height with fan-shaped leaves 4 to 6 feet long. The white flowers are small and the nearly round fruit is a dark, shiny blue.
· Florida has been planting hundreds of sabal palms along the freeways to absorb road noise. It is also used as an ornamental and a street tree, according to the Floridata website.
· The sabal palm requires little maintenance because it is salt- and drought-resistant. The tree can adapt to most types of soils and can be used in beach plantings.
· The sabal palm does best in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10. The tree is frost-tolerant and can survive at many degrees below freezing.
Information on the Florida State Bird
Florida's state bird is the northern mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos. The northern mockingbird lives throughout the United States, from southern Canada to the southern United States. It is found throughout the state of Florida and the Florida Keys. The northern mockingbird is also the state bird of Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The northern mockingbird is gray in color with darker gray on the wings and back and lighter gray on the breast. It has two white, barlike markings on its wings. It measures about 10 inches in height and weighs approximately 2 oz. The northern mockingbird has long legs, a long tail and a curved beak.
The northern mockingbird feeds on insects such as butterflies, beetles, bees, ants, grasshoppers and wasps. It also eats small animals such as earthworms and lizards. The northern mockingbird eats some vegetation, including fruit.
When selecting a mate, both male and female northern mockingbirds call to one another, flap their wings and perch next to one another. This is thought to be the bird's way of inspecting their mate's health. Once they have selected each other, they will continue to mate and produce eggs throughout the entire mating season. Some northern mockingbirds are known to mate for life.
The male northern mockingbird builds the nest using twigs and other materials it finds before it has chosen a mate. The male usually selects a low-hanging tree limb or an area of dense bushes or shrubs. The female mockingbird then examines the nest and decides whether it is suitable. If she accepts the nest, she lines it using feathers and other soft object. The northern mockingbird can make several nests in one mating season. The female usually lays about two or three eggs in each nest. If the female mockingbird lays eggs before the hatchlings have become independent, the male mockingbird cares for the hatchlings while the female cares for the new eggs.
When the northern mockingbird babies emerge from their eggs, they are dependent on their parents for the first two or three weeks of life. When the hatchlings are approximately 12 days old, they hop out of the nest and fall to the ground. Because they are still unable to fly, their parents continue bring them food and protect them. The parents protect and feed the baby birds until they begin scavenging for food on their own.
Florida State Flower
The Florida State Flower is the Orange blossom (citrus sinensis). The orange blossom, like most citruses, is native to subtropical Southeast Asia. The orange blossom was designated the state flower on Nov.15, 1909. The orange blossom is one of the most fragrant flowers in Florida.
Orange blossom is the waxy, white blossom of the orange tree. Orange blossom are very fragrant. The Orange blossoms bloom in clusters of 1-6 during in spring and result in oranges the following autumn or winter. Last year's oranges often are still on the trees when the new Orange blossom are blooming.
Orange blossoms are perfect, with 5 petals and sepals. The petals on the Orange blossom are linear, sometimes curved lengthwise, and thick. The sepals fuse at base of the Orange blossom to form a small cup. Stamens on the Orange blossom number 20-25, and are arranged in a tight, columnar whorl around the gynoecium.
A globular, green ovary in the Orange blossom subtends a thin style, which terminates in a pronounced, donut-shaped stigma. The ovary on the Orange blossom is compound with 10-14 locules in most commercial cultivars. The position of the ovary is superior, and subtended by raised nectary disc on the Orange blossom. The Orange blossoms are borne in axillary cymes. Orange blossom is the only state flower from which a commercial perfume is made.