Rockwall Students Shine at National Culinary Competition
Rockwall High School culinary team members.
After months of practice and emerging victorious at regional and state competitions, two Texas ProStart teams traveled to Rhode Island to compete at the 2018 National ProStart Invitational – the nation’s premier high school culinary arts and restaurant management competition hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Glenda Dawson High School in Pearland represented Texas for restaurant management, marking the first time the school has made an appearance at nationals after years of competing at the state level. On the culinary side, Rockwall High School made its third appearance, securing a thrilling second-place victory. Rockwall won the national championship title in 2013 for restaurant management and snagged third place last year in culinary.
“Rockwall High School’s Culinary Arts team was honored to represent the great state of Texas at the National ProStart competition,” said Cody Hayes, chef instructor at Rockwall High School. “Finishing second in the nation solidifies my team’s college and career goals, as they received multiple scholarships, including a full-tuition scholarship to Sullivan University. This program has truly set these young aspiring chefs up for success. Each of them is humbled the everyone’s support and thankful for the opportunity provided by Texas ProStart the TRAEF and the National ProStart competition. This program truly changes lives, and for me personally, I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of it.”
More than 400 student competitors gathered from across the country to put their skills to the test in front of industry leaders, state restaurant associations, friends, family and fans. Teams competed with the hope of earning coveted scholarships from the nation’s premier culinary and restaurant management programs.
With surprise appearances from Ted Allen, host of Chopped on the Food Network and author of In My Kitchen, and Nicole Silva, entrepreneur and founder of Crumbles by Nicole and a finalist on ABC’s The Great Holiday Baking Show, all attending students had the opportunity to interact with more than 80 industry leaders throughout the competition weekend.
Herndon Career Center from Raytown, Missouri, won first place in culinary arts and Wilbur Cross High School from New Haven, Connecticut won first place in restaurant management.
Winners’ scholarships can be used at the college or university of their choice to continue their restaurant/foodservice educations. Past National ProStart Invitational winners have gone on to establish careers at some of the best restaurants in the world, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York and Alinea in Chicago.