Monday, March 14, 2011

Allen High School and Prosper High School win Texas ProStart Invitational

On March 5, nine culinary arts teams and 14 restaurant management teams met in Austin at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts to compete in the state finals of the Texas ProStart Invitational. Allen High School took first place in the culinary competition and Prosper High School placed first in the restaurant management competition.

The Texas ProStart Invitational was hosted by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Only students enrolled in high school culinary arts programs utilizing the Texas ProStart program and curriculum were eligible to compete in the Invitational. 

The state competition capped off a month of competitions held across the state. Thirty-four culinary teams participated in regional culinary competitions in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The top three teams from each regional competition participated in the state competition.  Fourteen management teams competed at the same time, making for a very exciting day in high school culinary arts!

Winning culinary team, Allen High School
The Allen High School culinary team of Lucas Trahan, Matthew Konrad, Samantha March and Hillary Scott, led by their instructor Jordan Swim took first prize. Judges were impressed by their tasty cuisine and excellent team work. Their menu featured Thai Tortilla Soup with Lime Poached Shrimp; Spiced Flat Iron Steak with a Sweet Potato Jalapeno Gallete; and Crepe Gateau with Texas Grapefruit, Pineapple Mint Mousse and a Black Raspberry Reduction. 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. Others areas they were judged on were knife skills, chicken fabrication and safety and sanitation.

Restaurant management winning team, Prosper High School
Prosper High School’s restaurant management team of Jessica Ford, Sara Nichols, Kelli Smith and Kristi Stiles, led by instructor Katie Garms, placed first in the restaurant management competition with their 50’s-themed Jivin’ Jukebox diner concept. Teams participating in the restaurant management competition demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant proposal, delivering a verbal presentation and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations.

More than $125,000 in scholarships was awarded to the winning teams courtesy of the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes, the Culinary Institute of America, Le Cordon Bleu and Johnson & Wales University.

Now the two teams will travel to Kansas to compete in the National ProStart Invitational April 29.

State Competition Results
First Place             Allen High School, Allen, Texas
Second Place        Jefferson Davis High School, Houston, Texas
Third Place            Westside High School, Houston, Texas

First Place             Prosper High School, Prosper, Texas
Second Place        Plano East High School, Plano, Texas
Third Place            Allen High School, Allen, Texas

The Texas ProStart Invitational competition was sponsored by: Auto-Chlor, Texas Beef Council, Texas Gas Service and US Foodservice. For more information, visit