Prostart® Invitational to Showcase Students’ Talent
11th Annual Prostart® Student Invitational Showcases the Talent of Students from Across Illinois on Saturday, February 25, 2012
On Saturday, February 25, twelve culinary teams and ten management teams comprised of high school students from across the state will gather at Chicago’s Kendall College (900 N. Branch St.) to compete in the 11th Annual ProStart® Student Invitational - a full day of culinary and restaurant management competitions. The event, which takes place from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is hosted by the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) and sponsored by SYSCO Foodservice-Chicago and consists of a series of events challenging students on their culinary skills and hospitality management knowledge.
The Invitational includes two exciting events: a Culinary competition and a Hospitality Management competition:
- In the Culinary Competition, students in teams of two to four students must prepare two identical portions of a three-course meal consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert - all within a 95-minute time frame. The students will be judged on knife skills and poultry fabrication; method and technique; sanitation and safety; professionalism; presentation; recipe costing; organization and teamwork.
- In the Management Competition, teams of two to four students will present a proposal for a restaurant concept in ProStartville, IL. Each team will be evaluated on a visual presentation communicating the concept, menu and marketing tactics, as well as on critical thinking responses to foodservice, hospitality and business-focused questions covered in the first year of the ProStart® curriculum.
Teams in both competitions will be judged by leading chefs from restaurants and post-secondary schools, as well as professionals from restaurants, small companies and corporations. Those placing first through third from each competition will be awarded scholarships to pursue post-secondary education in foodservice and restaurant management, as well as cash and prizes. The winning teams from each competition will also receive the opportunity to compete in the National ProStart® Invitational held in Baltimore Maryland beginning April 27 (where teams representing 47 states will compete).
The competing students have proven their commitment to the foodservice industry through vigorous coursework in ProStart’s foodservice and hospitality management program. The participating high schools encompassing both competitions include: Center for Academics & Technology, Charleston, Dunbar, Elgin, Jo Daviess, North Grand, Oswego East, Oswego, Rich South, Thornton Fractional South, Technology Center of DuPage, Thornton Fractional South, Simeon. And West Aurora.
“The IRA’s Educational Foundation prepares ProStart® students for the Invitational through workforce development, mentoring, education and training,” said Sheila O’Grady, President, Illinois Restaurant Association. “It is a culmination of the hard work, talent and skills they have honed throughout the year - both on-the-job and in the classroom.”
This year, the Invitational will also include a College and Career Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SYSCO Lounge. Five, post-secondary culinary programs and 2 corporations will be represented, giving students the opportunity to learn about and take advantage of future growth opportunities.
About the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is a 501c(3) dedicated to building Illinois’ hospitality workforce through career exploration and development programs, scholarships, and image enhancement.
ProStart® is a national school-to-career program that prepares high school students for careers in foodservice and hospitality management. ProStart® in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to almost 4,000 students at 55 schools in the Chicagoland area. These students earn college credit through the program, are connected with internships in the foodservice industry to hone their skills and have the opportunity to get industry-recognized certifications while in high school. The ProStart® Program is also offered in 47 states encompassing more than 56,000 high school students in more than 1,300 schools. For more information, visit http://www.nraef.org/Educators/Prostart.
About the Illinois Restaurant Association
Founded in 1914, the Illinois Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry in Illinois. For more information, visit www.illinoisrestaurants.org or the organization’s Facebook and Twitter channels.
SYSCO, North America’s leading foodservice marketer and distributor, is dedicated to helping our customer succeed. SYSCO’s foundation has an entrepreneurial culture that fosters the autonomy of each and every one of our operating entities across the United States and Canada. SYSCO distributes food and related products and services to restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, motels, schools, colleges, cruise ships, sports parks and summer camps - wherever a meal is prepared away from home. For more information, visit www.sysco.com.
Isabelli Media Relations