Times might be tough in the restaurant business, but a nonstop parade of bright newcomers are still eager to work in it. Thirty-four of them showed off their skills early last month in Charlotte, NC, by participating in the Arts Institute's Best Teen Chef 2009 culinary competition. The contestants, each a high school senior, prepared identical, and challenging, three-course menus: curly endive salad with bacon and poached egg; oyster stew; and catfish “with a creative garnish.” Making ...

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