Teams from South Caldwell High School (above, right) and Cary High School (left) took top honors at the 2017 North Carolina ProStart Invitational Presented by Golden Corral, which took place March 17 at The Chef's Academy in Morrisville. They will now advance to the prestigious National ProStart Invitational, which is in Charleston, South Carolina, April 28-30 this year. The top teams are also now eligible for nearly $1 million in scholarship funding.
Competitors are enrolled in the North Carolina ProStart program, a nationwide premier culinary arts and restaurant management program offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, where high school students learn from an industry-derived, competency-based curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management skills, coupled with real-life restaurant sector experiences.
Winners of the 2017 North Carolina ProStart Invitational Presented by Golden Corral are:
First Place Culinary: South Caldwell High School, Hudson
First Place Management: Cary High School, Cary
Second Place Culinary: Southwestern Randolph High School, Asheboro
Second Place Management: Cleveland High School, Clayton
Third Place Culinary: Cary High School, Cary
Third Place Management: West Rowan High School, Mt. Ulla
Fourth Place Culinary: Iredell-Statesville CATS, Troutman
Fourth Place Management: Robert L. Patton High School, Morganton
Fifth Place Culinary: Smithfield Selma Senior High School, Smithfield
Fifth Place Management: Southwestern Randolph High School, Asheboro
In addition, educator Kelly Biggs of Southwestern Randolph High School was named the 2017 North Carolina ProStart Educator of Excellence.
The ProStart program is utilized in more than 1,700 high schools in all 50 states, Guam and on U.S. military bases and reaches nearly 100,000 secondary students annually. Many post-secondary schools in the nation recognize ProStart’s Certificate of Achievement, which is awarded to students who complete both levels of the program and at least 400 hours of work experience, and reward them with scholarship and credits. The state competition continues to expand, with a 40 percent increase in schools participating than last year. See photos from the competition on the North Carolina ProStart Program Facebook page.