Texas Team Takes First Place in National ProStart Invitational

Rockwall High School’s Win Comes in Second Appearance at National ProStart Invitational

Texas Team Takes First Place in National ProStart InvitationalIt was a familiar sight at the 2014 National ProStart Invitational Awards Dinner as the teams from two Texas high schools waited to hear the results after demonstrating their mastery of restaurant leadership skills in a fast-paced culinary and restaurant management competition.

For the second year in a row, the culinary team from The Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management at Byron Nelson High School, Trophy Club and the management team from Rockwall High School, Rockwall won their competitions at the Texas ProStart Invitational and represented the Lone Star State at Nationals, where ProStart champions from 46 states, territories and Department of Defense bases, competed for their share of a total of $3.75 million in scholarships.

The Rockwall team repeated their state success and took first place in the management competition at the 2014 National ProStart Invitational!

In the management competition, teams developed an original restaurant concept to present to industry judges and applied critical thinking skills to address challenges restaurant managers face in day-to-day operations. The Rockwall team’s concept was The Grate American Grilled Cheese Factory, a quick-casual restaurant serving fresh, gourmet-quality grilled cheese sandwiches with the slogan Two GRATE Loves: Our Food & You!

“This national title and our back-to-back state champion titles are a true representation of dedication and hard-work by my students. They realize what a great opportunity they have to win scholarships through this wonderful program and are constantly motivated by that. My students will now be able to attend college because of this,” said Cody Hayes, Culinary Arts Chef Instructor, Rockwall High School. “Representing the great state of Texas at the National ProStart Invitational was a true honor, and we are all blessed to be a part of such a fantastic program supported by the Texas Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association.”

Texas Team Takes First Place in National ProStart InvitationalThe Byron Nelson High School culinary team also did an outstanding job, placing 7th in the culinary competition where they had 60 minutes to prepare a three course menu and were judged on knife skills, chicken fabrication and safety and sanitation. Their menu featured a Seared Diver Scallop topped with a Quail Egg, Japanese Inspired Crab Salad, Organic Carron-Mango Reduction, Mosaic of Avocado; a Dried Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Butternut Squash Israeli Couscous, Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts, Pork Glacé and Butternut Squash Crisps;  and a Coconut-Macadamia Cake; Pineapple Vanilla Compote; White Chocolate Crème Anglaise and Brûlée Banana.

“It is inspiring to watch these talented students compete with the passion that we saw at this year’s Texas and National ProStart Invitational events,” said Richie Jackson, CEO, Texas Restaurant Association. “We know they will take the experience gained to propel their dreams and achieve rewarding careers in the restaurant industry.”

About Texas ProStart
Texas ProStart is an industry-based high school culinary arts and restaurant management program that prepares students for careers. Currently, the program is offered in over 200 Texas high schools, reaching over 20,000 students annually.

About the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the Texas Restaurant Association, it is the mission of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation to provide educational opportunities for restaurant careers in Texas.  www.restaurantville.com/foundation

About ProStart
ProStart is the nation’s premier culinary arts and restaurant management program, utilized in more than 1,700 high schools in 48 states, Guam and on U.S. military bases and reaching nearly 100,000 secondary students annually. Administered by the NRAEF, ProStart prepares young people to pursue additional studies or enter a rewarding career in the foodservice sector.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation’s largest employers.  www.nraef.org