11 Schools Competed in Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation’s Statewide Competition Showcasing the Hospitality Industry’s Future Chefs and Innovators
The challenge for the student chefs in the culinary competition was to prepare a three-course gourmet meal with only two butane burners in under an hour. Willamette High School pulled this off with excellence, winning top honors in the culinary competition at the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco. Bend High School took champion title in the management competition where students developed and presented a new restaurant concept to judges from industry and post-secondary education. The event was hosted by the Education Foundation of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLAEF) on March 18, 2018 in Salem, Oregon.
ProStart, one of the nation’s largest industry-supported career and technical education (CTE) programs, teaches high school students culinary and management skills needed by restaurant, hospitality, and foodservice employers. Focused on culinary techniques and restaurant management skills, this competency-based curriculum also includes real-life restaurant experiences. The ORLAEF ProStart Invitational is the capstone of this two-year program, providing a public opportunity for students to showcase what they have learned. Top competitors in the event receive a share of over $675,000 in scholarships and prizes from local and national culinary schools to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
“Sysco Portland is proud to partner with ORLAEF in support of ProStart,” said Bobbie McDonald, Vice President of Merchandising & Marketing at Sysco Portland. "These young culinarians from our state are building skills that are foundational to their careers in the hospitality industry. We applaud their enthusiasm and can’t wait to serve them in the future.”
Final results for the culinary competition:
Final results for the management competition:
Additional awards presented at the event:
“The atmosphere at this event was electric,” said Wendy Popkin, executive director of ORLAEF. “The ProStart program does a remarkable job preparing high school students with fundamental skills such as communication, teamwork, time management and professionalism needed to enter the workforce.”
The teams from Bend High School and Willamette High School will head to the 2018 National ProStart Invitational® April 27-29, 2017, in Providence, RI. Contact Popkin for information about how you can support local Oregon students on their journey to the national competition.
Currently 38 Oregon schools, with more than 3,000 students participate in the ProStart training program. Internationally, ProStart includes 137,300 students in 1,768 schools and technical centers across the United States, Guam, Europe, and Asia.
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 restaurant and foodservice industry is comprised of over 9,900 foodservice locations and has a total economic impact of $10.8 billion - making it the cornerstone of the economy and one of the state’s largest employers.
2018 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational – Participating Schools
View photos from event on Flickr.