South Salem

Oregon ProStart H.S. Culinary Championships

February 28, 2015 | Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde

Close to 100 Oregon Prostart® culinary students from 20 high schools competed for over $100,000 in scholarships at the ProStart® Culinary High School Championship hosted by ORLA's Education Foundation at Spirit Mountain Casino this weekend. The winning team earned a coveted spot in the National ProStart Invitational this April.

Congratulations to South Salem High School (pictured) culinary team who took first place overall this year! Their winning menu included Duck and Wild Mushroom Ragout, Painted Hills Beef Tenderloin Steak with Yukon Gold and Gruyere Potato Cake, and a Dome of White Chocolate with Strawberry Coulis and Wild Flowers.

2015 Boyds Coffee Culinary Cup Winners:

    First Place: South Salem High School
    Second Place: Bend High School
    Third Place: Seaside High School
    Fourth Place: North Eugene High School
    Fifth Place: Willamette High School

2015 Category Awards:

    Best Knife Skills: North Marion High School
    Best Poultry Fabrication: North Marion High School
    Best Overall Team Work: Bend High School

2015 ProStart Awards:

    Educator of Excellence: Mindy Shelton, Colton High School
    Mentor of the Year: Michael Thieme, Sweetwater’s Valley River Inn, Eugene
    Student of the Year: Jesse Pink, Taft High School

> View 2015 Competition Press
> View photos from the 2015 event on our Flickr page 

Using only two butane burners and without access to running water or electricity, ProStart student teams of four prepared a three-course gourmet meal in just 60 minutes. This event is the yearly capstone project for the career and technical education (CTE) foodservice training program, ProStart.

Coached by teachers and professional chefs, the ProStart teams demonstrated their mastery of culinary and teamwork skills in seven categories of fast-paced competition. Teams are evaluated on taste, presentation, knife skills, and teamwork, among other skills. The first-place team is crowned state champion and will represent Oregon at the National ProStart Invitational, April 2015 in Anaheim, California, where they will compete for $1.4 million in scholarships.

“We are committed to providing education and training opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in the restaurant/lodging/travel industry. Employment opportunities are significant and, in fact, Oregon's foodservice and lodging industry contributes over $8 billion in annual sales and is responsible for over 164,800 jobs for its citizens,” says Wendy Popkin, executive director of the Education Foundation for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLAEF). “The ProStart program teaches high school students the culinary and management skills needed by the nation’s restaurant, hospitality and foodservice employers and supports teachers in this career and technical education (CTE) oriented focus.”

Currently 36 Oregon schools, with more than 3,000 students participate in the ProStart training program. Nationally, ProStart is taught in more than 1,900 schools across 48 states, Guam and U.S. military bases. This school year alone, over 95,000 students are enrolled.

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


Prostart Championships