NMBHS culinary students could be the future of Grand Strand cuisine

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While some people still have a hard time boiling water, students at North Myrtle Beach High School are getting an opportunity to master the culinary arts.

In the midst of a big push to become a premiere culinary destination, the kids in the culinary program may be the future of the Grand Strand restaurant scene.

Some of your favorite restaurant meals may have been created by students that were part of the culinary program at NMBHS. The school was recently recognized as one of the top 100 high school culinary schools in the country.

Connie Porter teaches the culinary arts classes at NMBHS. She follows a curriculum produced by the national restaurant association called "Pro Start," which follows a curriculum designed by the National Restaurant Association.

She also instructs a team of her best students that compete on a state and national level in a Pro Start culinary competition in which students prepare and finish a meal in an hour using only two burners and a table.

There are about 30 other schools in South Carolina that participate, and her kids have won for the last four years.

Winning the competition can change students' lives. "We have a good number of our students that go on to culinary programs around the country," Porter says. "And part of the program when they win the competition, they win national scholarships. So usually by winning state, my students each win about $60,000 in scholarship in various culinary programs around the country."

Porter says graduates of her classes have gone on to run restaurants in the Grand Strand. Some of those even come back to help mentor current students before their competition.

The state competition this year is on March 17.

Below are some of the students' favorite recipes:

French Bread - Ingredients Yield: 2 loaves

1T Sugar

1 package Yeast

1 cups Warm water (110°F)

1 T Vegetable shortening

3 cups Bread flour

1 tsp Salt


Place sugar, yeast, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add shortening, and then add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until dough forms; Increase speed to medium-high and knead dough until smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap; let sit until doubled in size, 1.5 to 2 hours. Uncover dough and transfer to a floured work surface; knead briefly to form a ball. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a 16"-long thick rope. Place both loaves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and cover with plastic wrap; let sit until doubled in size, 1 to 1.5 hours.

Heat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, slash a long line down the middle of each loaf. Slightly mist the top of each loaf to create a crispy crust. Bake until light brown about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes and serve using a serrated knife to cut.

Garden Harvest Chili


1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, un-drained

1 can (28 ounces) water

2 cups diced zucchini

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (8-3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


In a large skillet, saute the red pepper, onion and garlic in oil until tender.

In a large sauce pan, stir in the sauteed vegetables, chili powder, cumin, oregano, butternut squash and tomatoes and water; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until squash is almost tender.

Stir in remaining corn, black beans and zucchini; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until heated through.

Yield: 7 servings (1-3/4 quarts).

Bacon Cheddar Scones

Ingredients (Yield 8)

3 cups Flour

1 T Baking powder

1 tsp Salt

1.5 tsp Black pepper

.5 cup butter, chilled cut into cubes

1.5 cups Cheddar Cheese, sharp, grated

4 Green onions, thinly sliced

10 slices Bacon, cooked crisp and coarsely chopped

.75 to 1.5 cups Buttermilk

1 egg

2 T Milk


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

2. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper into a large bowl

3. Cut in the cold butter until the pieces are pea sized.

4. Add the cheese and mix just until blended

5. Add the bacon and green onions and mix until well blended

6. Add the 3/4 cup of the buttermilk and mix

7. Continue to add the buttermilk on tablespoon at a time just until a soft dough forms.


9. Place the dough on a clean well-floured work surface.

10. Pat into a circle about 8 inches and about 1/2 inch thick

11. Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into 4 equal pieces

12. Mix the egg and milk and brush on egg wash

13. Bake at 400º for 18-20 minutes.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Truffle Filling (makes 12)



1.75 cup cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp Vanilla

4 egg whites, room temperature

6 T butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

12 round white or chocolate truffles, unwrapped

Frosting & Garnish

6 oz white chocolate for baking, chopped

1 pkg cream cheese, softened

1/4 Cup butter, softened

1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

White chocolate curls


Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Place paper liners in wells of muffin pan. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed of electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In a mixing bowl beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy; beat in sour cream until smooth.

On medium speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture in two additions, mixing until smooth. Whisk in one-third of the egg whites with Whisk. Fold in remaining egg whites using whisk. Using a large scoop, divide batter evenly among liners.

Bake 17-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove pan from oven to cooling rack.

Immediately snip a 1/2-inch-deep (1-cm) "x" into top of each cupcake using Shears. Press one truffle into each cupcake until flush with top of cupcake. Remove cupcakes from pan.

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