Nine Schools Competed in Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation’s Statewide Competition Showcasing the Hospitality Industry’s Future Chefs
The challenge for the student chefs 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, taking first in the culinary competition at the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco Portland. South Salem High School placed first in the management competition, developing a concept for a new restaurant and presenting it to judges from the industry and post-secondary education.
Willamette High School’s winning menu included ricotta mascarpone quail egg ravioli, pan seared wild Sockeye salmon with a fish velouté sauce and rosemary Parmigiano-Reggiano polenta, and mascarpone vanilla bean panna cotta.
Both first place teams will head to the 2019 National ProStart Invitational® May 8-10, 2019, in Washington, D.C. on sponsorship from ORLAEF. These Oregon champions also receive a share of over $547,500 in scholarships from local and national culinary schools to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
“It is with great pleasure Sysco Portland is once again the leading sponsor of the ORLAEF ProStart program,” 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. This year we are extremely excited to announce the additional support of honoring two students with a scholarship to help guide them on their culinary journey.”
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 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational is the capstone of this two-year program, providing a public opportunity for students to showcase what they have learned.
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. Currently 33 Oregon schools, with more than 3,869 students, participate in the ProStart training program.
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 10,220 foodservice locations and has a total economic impact of $13.8 billion - making it the cornerstone of the economy and one of the state’s largest employers.
2019 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational – Participating Schools