Twenty-two high schools are sending 35 teams, a total of 175 culinary and restaurant management students to the 2015 Texas ProStart Invitational competition, produced by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation January 24 at the Hurst Conference Center.  The event is open to the public. Tickets are $7 per person.

“I am amazed every year by the high caliber of work these students demonstrate at competition. Their knowledge, passion and creativity are inspiring,” said Gary Johnson, Magic Time Machine Restaurants, San Antonio and chairman of the TRA Education Foundation. “Students and their instructors spend countless hours outside of school practicing and preparing and their dedication really pays off.

The Texas ProStart Invitational is in its sixth year and is one of the largest of the state ProStart competitions in the country with more than 300 students competing in two regional competitions for a chance to represent Texas at the National ProStart Invitational.

All schools competing are part of Texas ProStart, an industry-based culinary arts and hospitality program and curriculum. Teams compete in either the restaurant management or culinary category and the top six teams from each category advance to the Texas ProStart Invitational State Final in March.

Culinary teams demonstrate knife skills, develop and price a three course menu and then prepare those menu items in 60 minutes. Judges evaluate creativity, plate presentation, taste, team work, professionalism, and safety and sanitation.

Restaurant management teams develop and present a business proposal for a new restaurant concept that includes a defined concept, supporting menu and marketing plan. Teams prepare a comprehensive written proposal, verbal presentation and visual display and are tested on their critical thinking skills by reacting to potential management challenges.

The 2015 Texas ProStart Invitational is sponsored by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Ben E. Keith Foodservice, Ecolab, BJ’s Restaurant, Auto-Chlor, Les Dames d'Escoffier and the Texas Beef Council.

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.

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 in over 200 Texas high schools, reaching more than 20,000 students annually.