SOURCE: National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

May 01, 2017 12:18 ET

Top ProStart Teams Representing Ohio and Michigan Win First-Place at National Two-Day Culinary and Restaurant Management Competition -- Each Team Member Awarded $6000 in Scholarships

More than 400 students representing teams from the U.S., Guam and Germany put their skills to the test at the 16th Annual National ProStart Invitational hosted by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in Charleston, SC

CHARLESTON, SC--(Marketwired - May 01, 2017) - After a weekend of intense competition in front of a panel of industry leading judges and a packed house of 1,000 educators, businesses, supporters, families and fans, the National ProStart Invitational (NPSI) crowned this year's top five culinary and restaurant management teams. The 10 winning teams walked away with scholarships totaling more than $50,000 and were recognized as the country's best by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).

Hosted in Charleston, South Carolina, Team Ohio from Polaris Career Center won first place in the Culinary Competition and Team Michigan from Saginaw Career Complex won first place in the Management Competition.

"Each year we are amazed at the creativity, skill and hard work these students put into the competition," said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President, NRAEF. "They practiced for months, competed at the state level and put on a show of culinary expertise and restaurant innovation that rivals some of the best seasoned pros in the business. We salute this year's winners and are proud of all the teams for making it to the national competition. ProStart students represent the next generation of talent and leaders in restaurants and foodservice and we look forward to watching them achieve their dreams and finding a home in this amazing industry."

The 2017 National ProStart Invitational Winners:

First Place - Culinary

Team Ohio from Polaris Career Center

First Place - Restaurant Management

Team Michigan from Saginaw Career Complex

Second Place - Culinary

Team Guam from Okkodo High School

Second Place - Restaurant Management

Team South Carolina from Anderson Career & Technology Center

Third Place - Culinary

Team Texas from Rockwall High School

Third Place - Restaurant Management

Team Maryland from George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology

Fourth Place - Culinary

Team Kansas from Olathe Public School

Fourth Place - Restaurant Management

Team Missouri from Parkway North High School

Fifth Place - Culinary

Team South Carolina from Anderson Career & Technology Center

Fifth Place - Restaurant Management

Team Connecticut from Wilbur Cross High School

Scholarships that can be used at the college or university of each winner's choice to continue their restaurant/foodservice education journey were awarded to the first through fifth place winners. The first ($5,000) and second ($3,000) place scholarships were sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. The Darden Restaurants Foundation sponsored the $1,500 third place scholarship, Oracle Hospitality sponsored the $1,000 fourth place scholarship, and Red Robin International, Inc. sponsored the $500 fifth place scholarship.

All winning team members also received a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by the BURGER KING McLAMORE Foundation.

In addition to competing, students from all teams were given the opportunity to engage with representatives from colleges and universities, industry recruiters, restaurant and foodservice industry leaders, and fellow students to discuss higher education and career goals.

Additional information about ProStart and the competition is provided below and available at the following link:

Additional Background About NPSI

The National ProStart Invitational is the country's premier competition for high school students who are studying culinary arts and restaurant management through the ProStart program. Annually, around 400 ProStart students from across the country put their knowledge and skills to the test in front of industry leaders, NRAEF Trustees, state restaurant association executives, top post-secondary schools, families and friends hoping to win scholarships from the nation's top culinary arts and restaurant management programs.

The 16th Annual National ProStart Invitational took place April 28-30, 2017 at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston, South Carolina.

ProStart® is the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's nationwide high school program that unites classroom and industry to develop the talent of tomorrow's workforce, including future restaurant and foodservice leaders.

How the Competition Works: It's the culmination of a series of state/regional competitions hosted by partner state restaurant associations and other ProStart partners. Winning teams from these events move on to compete at the National ProStart Invitational in two events: The Culinary Competition and the Management Competition.

Management Teams develop a concept for a new restaurant and present it to judges from industry and post-secondary education. Students are evaluated on their concept, marketing strategies, menu, recipes and food costs, operations and critical thinking skills.

Culinary Teams develop a unique menu for a three-course meal, complete with recipes and food costs, and prepare that meal in 60 minutes using two butane burners-with no electricity or running water. They are evaluated on their menu, degree of difficulty, food safety and sanitation, knife skills, cooking procedures, food costing, teamwork, taste and presentation of their meal.

Competition Rewards: The top five teams in each event (culinary and management) receive scholarships to further their education and careers. Competing students also can network with one another and with leaders of the nation's restaurant and foodservice industry to discuss the many opportunities in store for them after high school.

Additional b-roll and images of each state team are available upon request.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the industry's training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to attract, empower and advance today's and tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart -- a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready -- partnering with community based organizations to provide "opportunity youth" with skills training and job opportunities; Military -- helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships -- financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project -- a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

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