Rockwall High School Wins Culinary Competition

Over the weekend, 12 high school culinary arts and 12 restaurant management team finalists gathered in San Antonio at St. Philip’s College for the final battle of the Texas ProStart Invitational. One of the teams emerging victorious was from Rockwall High School (RHS) in Rockwall for the culinary portion of the competition.

RHS advances to represent Texas (along with a team from Pearland) in the National ProStart Invitational, April 27-29 in Providence, Rhode Island. There, they will compete against nearly 400 students from ProStart teams throughout the country.

Texas is home to the nation’s largest state ProStart competition. Now in its ninth year, the competition hosted more than 340 students from 75 high schools and 103 teams, via two rigorous regional competitions and one state final competition over the course of three months. In the Texas ProStart program there are currently 254 Texas high schools participating, with more than 25,000 students.

Teams participating in the culinary competition were required to demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in only 60 minutes. They were also judged on knife skills, safety and sanitation.

RHS is no stranger to ProStart Nationals. They first went in 2013, securing the championship title for restaurant management. That was followed by a trip to nationals just last year for the first time in the culinary category, under the leadership of Chef Cody Hays, snagging third place in the country.

“We are so excited to have the opportunity to represent the great state of Texas in the National ProStart Invitational in Rhode Island,” said Chef Hays. “The ProStart program provides students with an opportunity to get a taste of what our industry is all about, and year after year produces well-rounded young people ready to build their future in the hospitality industry.  Our team is thankful beyond measure for the scholarships they received too!  Rhode Island, here we come!”

The National ProStart Invitational is produced by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF). Only students enrolled in high school culinary arts programs utilizing the ProStart program and curriculum are eligible to compete.

At nationals, the top five teams from the culinary and management competitions are awarded generous educational scholarships to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. In 2017, more than $1 million in scholarships was awarded to students by the NRAEF and leading academic institutions.

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