High school teams compete in statewide culinary and management competitions at Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation’s 2018 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco. Students prepare a three-course gourmet meal in 60 minutes in front of a crowd using only two butane burners, without access to running water or electricity. New this year, five teams will develop a restaurant concept and present to a panel of judges at a simulated business exposition in the management competition.
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Schedule posted online.
Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial Street SE, Salem
Helping high school students jump start culinary careers, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation (ORLAEF) supports educators and schools offering ProStart, a national career and technical education (CTE) curriculum and program developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Teaching culinary, teamwork and management skills needed by restaurant, hospitality and foodservice employers, the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational is the capstone of this two-year program, providing a public opportunity for students to showcase what they have learned.
Of the 38 Oregon high school programs, currently involving 3,000 ProStart students, 11 schools are sending teams to this year's invitational. Heats begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 2:15 p.m. Chef judges evaluate culinary teams on taste, presentation, knife skills, and teamwork. Management competition teams are evaluated on their concept, marketing strategies, menu, recipes and food costs, operations and critical thinking skills, with winners of both competitions announced at the dinner. Students also vie for a share of $675,000 in scholarships and prizes. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event.
Sponsoring organizations – ORLAEF, Sysco, Oregon Culinary Institute, Bentley’s Grill and The Grand Hotel, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Foster Farms, Johnson Controls, Phoenix Inn Suites,Salem, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, and NRAEF - help send the first place team to the 2018 National ProStart Invitational, April 27-29 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Participating in the ProStart career technical education classes prepares students for community college certifications and degrees.
For more information about the ProStart Oregon culinary championship, visit http://bit.ly/ORprostart.
As the philanthropic foundation of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, ORLAEF supports and promotes diverse career, educational and public service opportunities within the hospitality industry to create a vibrant industry that contributes to Oregon’s economic livelihood and its citizens’ quality of life. Oregon’s foodservice and lodging industry is responsible for 173,700 jobs bringing in over $10.8 billion in annual sales and generating 54% of the annual tourism dollars spent in Oregon – making the hospitality industry the cornerstone of the economy and one of the state’s largest employers.