Thursday, May 15, 2014


It was exciting to hear the shouts, cheers and generous applause that erupted in this year's ProStart Invitational Awards Ceremony. Students, parents and coaches alike were overjoyed for the 300 plus students who had worked so hard throughout the school year to finally compete at the national competition in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prostart champions hail from 46 states, territories and Department of Defense bases. This year's first place teams included Simon Sanchez High School from Yigo, Guam (culinary) and Rockwall High School from Rockwall, Texas (management). The top five winning teams for both culinary and management took home their share of $3.75 million dollars in scholarships

Part of the culinary criteria for each four member team was to provide a starter, an entree and dessert within 60 minutes while being limited to two portable butane burners. There were several categories that were assigned to each judge which included knife skills, sanitation, menu checking, product check-in and tasting. I was granted the duty of entree tasting. So, over the course of two days my three judge panel group had the pleasure of tasting 46 entrees. You can imagine, pacing myself is something that I've learned to do well.

I enjoyed seeing the faces of anticipation and nervousness coming from the ranks of these talented students. The majority of the competitors prepared excellent food in both flavor and appearance. Many thanks go out to the folks at NRAEF who have designed a top notch culinary and management program that help over 1700 schools. And kudos to each one of the Prostart Invitational champions.