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Aug 17, 2022, 18:33
Delaware and Texas Students Win Top Honors at 2022 National ProStart Invitational
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Delaware and Texas Students Win Top Honors at 2022 National ProStart Invitational

06 June 2022

The culinary and restaurant management competition was the first in-person event in three years and featured $200,000 in scholarship funds for winning teams.

By The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
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Besting 80 other culinary and restaurant management teams from across the country, Caesar Rodney High School of Camden, Del., and Ben Barber Innovation Academy of Mansfield, Texas, earned first place finishes at the 2022 National ProStart Invitational (NPSI), hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The competition, held in Washington, D.C., marked the first in-person event since 2019 and awarded more than $200,000 in scholarship funds to winning teams to support their future careers. Caesar Rodney High School won the culinary competition while Ben Barber Innovation Academy won the restaurant management competition. 

“We were thrilled to bring the top culinary and restaurant management high school students together, in-person, for the first time in three years,” said Rob Gifford, President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “These high school students are the best-of-the-best, representing the industry’s talent of tomorrow, and it was a pleasure to give them this platform to showcase their incredible skills on a national stage and win scholarships to support their career goals. We congratulate each participant and look forward to all that they will go on to achieve.”

With sponsors including Ecolab, Nestlé Professional, The Coca-Cola Company and Golden Corral, the three-day national event kicked off on Friday, May 6 and saw over 1,000 attendees, including almost 400 ProStart participants and 68 judges. Click here for video highlights from the competition. 

Caesar Rodney High School earned its top spot in the culinary competition with a menu featuring flavors from France, Italy and Greece that included frisée salad with egg yolk ravioli, Mediterranean lamb loin, and chocolate dome with balsamic raspberries. Ben Barber Innovation Academy won first place in the restaurant management competition with “The Herb’N Table” concept that featured a farm-to-table, contemporary-casual dining experience.

Winning teams won a combined $200,000 in scholarships, which can be used at the college or university of their choice. The top five teams for each competition were:  

Culinary 22 Pro Start Champions Culinary
Caesar Rodney High School – Camden, Del.
Anderson Career and Technology Center – Williamston, South Carolina
Herndon Career Center – Raytown, Mo.
Ben Barber Innovation Academy – Mansfield, Texas
Capital Area Technical Center – Augusta, Maine

22 Pro Start Champions ManagementRestaurant Management
Ben Barber Innovation Academy – Mansfield, Texas
Sauk Rapids-Rice High School – Sauk Rapids, Minn.
Wilson Central High School – Lebanon, Tenn.
Wilbur Cross High School – New Haven, Conn.
Anderson Career and Technology Center – Williamston, South Carolina

During the award ceremony, NPSI also celebrated teachers recognized through the ProStart National Educator of Excellence Awards.With support from Golden Corral, these annual awards recognize educators that demonstrate excellence in the classroom and have a passion for helping their students make the most of the opportunities offered through the ProStart program.

The following select educators were also honored for their excellence in the following categories: 

  • James H. Maynard Teacher of the Year: Ben Rengstorf, Roosevelt High School, Minneapolis.
  • Classroom Expertise: Stephanie Kunkel, Jackson High School, Massillon, Ohio
  • Best Practice/Knowledge Sharing: Dominic Hawkes, Lancaster County School District Career Center, Lancaster, South Carolina
  • Industry Connection: Daniel Wagner, Greene County Career & Technology Center, Waynesburg, Penn.