Two OCCI students qualify for Culinary Olympic team

COOS BAY, Ore. - Two Oregon Coast Culinary Institute students qualified for the Culinary Youth Team USA and are headed to the Culinary Olympics.

Trae Shriner and Megan Bamford make up a quarter of the national team.

"It was so exhilarating to go to be with all those great young chefs and get to compete against some of the greatest up and coming chefs in the country, which is awesome," Shriner said.

OCCI students have excelled at the Culinary Olympics before.

"In 2012, the whole youth team was housed and were students of OCCI," said Shawn Hanlin, executive director of OCCI.

Now the Culinary Olympians are practicing their craft to prepare for competition.

"For me, I have to come here and practice at 4, 5 in the morning, three hour practices a day and sometimes you sit back and you think is this worth it," Shriner said. "But then when you get in there and you start cooking and you get done and you see the final product from where you started, it's a great feeling, you can't explain it."

An intensive practice schedule will take team members to Houston and Chicago every month

"He'll need to work on the assignments he's been given and be expected to show up for the next practice prepared," Hanlin said.

They'll see where their hard work gets them in October 2016.

Competitions leading up to the Olympics will take them everywhere from Germany to Florida.