More than 300 high school students from across the country gathered in Anaheim, California from April 18-20 to showcase their skills in restaurant management and culinary arts – and the National Network was there to see a premier work-and-learn model on display.
The students were competing at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) 14th Annual National ProStart Invitational, a hallmark of the quality workforce the restaurant industry is building by inspiring and skilling young people for in-demand careers. ProStart is one of the many models National Network members and employers are expanding to get more young people onto pathways to successful careers.
With an audience of more than 1,000 leading employers, educators, friends and family, students performed some of the most high-end skills—from perfectly cooking a chicken to presenting business plans for original restaurant concepts. Working in teams, students designed and executed multi-course gourmet meals created to satisfy the highest marks of taste and presentation.
The National ProStart Invitational is the finale of a nationwide series of state competitions hosted by partner state restaurant associations. For each respective competition – culinary or management – students must impress judges from leading industry corporations, colleges and universities with skills they’ve developed through ProStart.
The top five teams from the culinary and management competitions are awarded generous educational scholarships to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. On average, the NRAEF and leading academic institutions award more than $1 million in scholarships to students.