South Salem 2016

Oregon ProStart Culinary Championships

Sunday, February 19, 2017 | Salem Convention Center, Salem, Oregon

Save the date to attend the 2017 ProStart® Culinary Championships in Salem on Sunday, February 19th! This event is the yearly capstone project for the career and technical education (CTE) foodservice training program, ProStart. Coached by teachers and professional chefs, ProStart teams demonstrate their mastery of skills in seven categories of the fast-paced competition. Points are based on many criteria including complexity of their menu, taste, presentation, knife skills, and teamwork. Rules of the competition are available here.

“ProStart students learn skills - such as teamwork, communication, and decision making - that are important to success in any career they choose to pursue. They also gain a tremendous amount of self-confidence. This event is their capstone project, and it is as exciting to watch as any sports tournament,” says Wendy Popkin, executive director of the Education Foundation for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLAEF.) As a career and technical education (CTE) curriculum, ProStart also teaches specific culinary and management skills needed by Oregon’s fifth largest employer, Leisure and Hospitality, as its 2nd fasting growing industry.

Currently 36 Oregon schools, with more than 3,000 students participate in the ProStart training program. Nationally, ProStart is taught in more than 1,700 schools across 50 states, Guam and U.S. military bases. This school year alone, over 118,000 students are enrolled.

For more information on how you can participate as a volunteer or support this program in other ways, contact Wendy Popkin, executive director, ORLA Education Foundation, at 503.682.4422.

2016 Event Recap:
Congratulations to South Salem High School (pictured) taking first place overall at the 2016 ProStart® Culinary Championships! Over 100 Oregon ProStart® culinary students from 20 high schools from across the state competed in the statewide event, tasked with creating a three-course gourmet meals using only two butane burners and without the benefit of electricity.

South Salem students won academic scholarships along with a coveted spot in the National ProStart Invitational this April. South Salem High School’s winning menu included Kaffir lime dusted shrimp with forbidden black rice, parmesan crusted Oregon rockfish with charred carrot roll and potato puree, and bittersweet single origin flourless chocolate cake with a dome of white chocolate and raspberry compote. The team competed in the 15th Annual National ProStart Invitational in Dallas, Texas from April 29 - May 1, 2016.

Rounding out the state winners:
  • 2nd place - Sabin-Schellenberg Center
  • 3rd place - North Eugene High School
  • 4th place - Bend High School
  • 5th place - Colton High School
> Read the full recap on the 2016 Oregon ProStart Championship page.
> View the photos on Flickr from last year's event.

Past State Champions:
2016: South Salem High School
2015: South Salem High School
2014: Seaside High School
2013: Seaside High School
2012: South Salem
2011: Bend High School
2010: Bend High School
2009: South Salem High School
2008: South Salem High School
2007: Willamette High School
2006: Bend High School
2005: Yoncalla High School
2004: Willamette High School
2003: Taft High School
2002: Taft High School
2001: David Douglas High School