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Tracy Kosbau
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March 5, 2015

High School Students to Compete in State ProStart Competition Winners Represent Wisconsin at National Competition

27 schools and 152 high school students will put their culinary and management skills to the test in the ProStart® Invitational at the Midwest Foodservice Expo at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

This competition for students participating in a ProStart program at their high school consists of two different competitions: a Management Competition and a Culinary Competition. The Management Competition involves demonstrating their knowledge of the hospitality industry by developing a business proposal for a new restaurant concept.  The proposal will include written and oral presentations, as well as a visual display. For the Culinary Competition, students prepare a three course meal and are judged by foodservice industry professionals and college educators on teamwork, presentation, cooking procedures, knife skills and sanitation.

This competition is a showcase of the young talent in Wisconsin's growing foodservice industry. Over $1 million dollars in scholarships will be awarded to competition winners. "The level of talent, energy and dedication of these high school students is really remarkable," said Alex Newman, ProStart Coordinator for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. "The ProStart Competition is really exciting to watch. These are the future chefs, business owners and hospitality professionals that will be taking our industry to the next level in the years to come."

The winning team in each of the two competitions goes on to compete in the 14th Annual National ProStart Invitational at Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA.

The following high schools have teams participating in the Wisconsin ProStart Student Invitational.

Badger (Lake Geneva)
Fond du Lac
Lincoln (Wisconsin Rapids)
Madison Memorial
Madison West
Parkview (Orfordville)
Preble (Green Bay)
Sheboygan North
Sun Prairie
Wauwatosa East
Wauwatosa West
West Bend
Westosha (Salem)
Wisconsin Dells

An additional 15 high schools will be in attendance at the Midwest Foodservice Expo to observe the ProStart competition and learn more about the foodservice industry.

The ProStart program, administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and state restaurant associations, is a college prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them. When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. The Wisconsin ProStart program has been in existence since 1997.

The Wisconsin ProStart Invitational is made possible by the generous support of these sponsors:
US Foods
Culver's VIP Foundation
Wisconsin Beef Council

Media covering the competitions or the Expo are not required to pre-register.
Just check in at the 3rd Floor Registration Area of the Wisconsin Center at the top of the escalators March 9-11 for a free media pass.

For additional information, visit www.wirestaurant.org/expo/events/prostart.php

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Founded in 1987, the WRA EF is among the largest state restaurant association foundations in the nation. The Foundation vision is to advance professionalism through education, scholarships and community involvement to ensure the future success of the foodservice industry.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960