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The 2016 NYS ProStart® Invitational: Dedicated to the Life of Toby Strianese
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Over 115 New York State ProStart students from across the state will compete at the upcoming 2016 ProStart Invitational.  The event is being held at Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), located in Schenectady, NY, on February 26 & 27.  Teams will compete for over two million dollars in scholarships at the 12th Annual New York State ProStart Invitational, which is being dedicated to Toby Strianese.  Strianese was a long time SCCC staff member, as well as a member of the NYS Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustees for over 16 years, holding a number of positions, lastly being Chairman.


More than 40 restaurant owners, managers, chefs and college instructors from across the state will judge the teams competing for trophies, medals, scholarships, and the opportunity to represent New York at the National ProStart Invitational April 29 – May 1, 2016, in Dallas, TX.


By bringing together the industry and the classroom, the ProStart program gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents to open doors for fulfilling careers. This happens through a curriculum that 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.


The event is made up of two distinct competitions.  The first is the Culinary Competition, sponsored by Wegmans, and the second is the Management Competition, sponsored by Rich Products.  Other event sponsors include United Healthcare, Pepsico, The Western New York Chapter of The NYS Restaurant Association, Ecolab, and Mercer Cutlery.


The Culinary Competition highlights 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 is no room for error as they are evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation.


For the Management Competition, teams develop a proposal for the next promising restaurant concept and present it to a panel of industry judges.  Next, their problem solving skills are tested as they quickly solve challenges faced by managers daily.


To attend this event or for more information please contact Elizabeth Soscia, NYSRAEF Education Coordinator, at or 518-452-5522.

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