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News & Press: Association News

2015 NYS ProStart Invitational

Thursday, April 02, 2015  
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The NYS Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NYSRAEF) was developed to support the National Restaurant Association’s Education efforts at the state level. The Foundation’s primary focus is to strengthen the restaurant industry in New York State by developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders.


By bringing together the industry and the classroom, the Foundation’s keystone program, the ProStart program, gives high school students a platform to discover new interests and talents to open doors for fulfilling careers. This happens through a curriculum which includes all facets of the hospitality industry, including culinary arts and hospitality management, and sets a high standard of excellence for students and the industry.


This year, high school students from across the state competed for more than $2 million in scholarships at the 11th Annual New York State ProStart Invitational.  The event was held at The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY, on March 13 & 14, 2015.


Ninety students participated in this year’s event.  The event was made up of two distinct competitions.  The first was the Culinary Competition, which was sponsored by Wegmans. The second was the Management Competition, sponsored by Rich Products.


The Culinary Competition highlighted each team’s creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners, and without access to running water or electricity. There was no room for error as they were evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation.


For the Management Competition, teams developed a proposal for the next promising restaurant concept and presented it to a panel of industry judges.  Their problem solving skills were tested as they quickly answered questions regarding challenges restaurateurs face daily.


More than 50 restaurant owners, managers, chefs and college instructors from across the country judged the teams, competing for trophies, medals, and scholarships.


Top honors went to Greater Southern Tier BOCES: Bush Campus, from Elmira, NY, and Carrier Educational Center, located in Angola, NY.  GST BOCES: Bush Campus took first place in the culinary competition.  Carrier Educational Center placed first in the Management Competition.  Both teams will represent New York State at the National ProStart Invitational April 18-20, in Anaheim, CA, at The Disneyland Hotel.


For more information on the Foundation, go to, or contact Elizabeth Soscia, NYSRAEF Education Coordinator, at 518-452-5522.

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