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Has toque, will travel

Wren Wertin
Kristin Anderson/Vail Daily
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It took Pearl Burkham working in a restaurant kitchen to realize she didn’t want to be a professional chef after all. But she still loves to cook, and spent a good portion of her senior year working with other chefs-in-training on the Battle Mountain ProStart team.

“We had so much fun,” she said about the team. “We got along so well, and were such a close-knit group ” a family, really. Even the judges at Nationals noticed how close were are.”

She took exception to the long hours most chefs have to put in, standing and stirring in hot kitchens. As a career, she’ll pass. But as something to do for now, she’s perfectly happy. Her favorite dish from the competition includes scallops on a scallion noodle cake with a Thai red curry sauce. At home, she’s more likely to make mussels. Either way, it’s good eatin’ for the folks around her.

Raised in Colorado, Burkham’s an ambitious traveler, already claiming visits to Australia, Prague, London and back to Thailand to inspect her city of birth. Sometimes she travels with her mom, but as often as not she’ll be with her grandmother Gaby Burkham, a ski instructor in Leadville.

Her most recent adventure was in England on a trip with her Shakespeare class.

“We visited the Globe, his house, and his wife’s house,” she said. “I like his comedies a lot. I think he’s an interesting person, especially considering what he was able to accomplish. It’s crazy that we still study him to this day.”

Though she can’t pick a favorite, Midsummer’s Night Dream is awfully special to her. She remembers seeing it performed when she was a kid.

Students on the Shakespeare excursion also took day trips to other places that interested them. They visited Stonehenge, Abby Road and Platform 9 ¾, where Harry Potter and others would board the train for Hogwarts.

Trains will be a part of her new scene. Burkham will head to Boston University in the fall, with or without her whisk.


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