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ProStart® Students Compete for More Than $870K in Scholarships

Media Contact:
Erica R. Papillion

Director of Communications
Louisiana Restaurant Association
2700 N. Arnoult Road
Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 454-2277, ext. 569
(504) 454-2299 Fax


ProStart® Students Compete for More Than $870K in Scholarships

Louisiana Seafood on board as title sponsor


Metairie, LA-The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) will host its 12th Annual Louisiana Seafood ProStart® Student Competition, March 5-6, 2013 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Hall A. A total of $872,000 in scholarship opportunities will be awarded to students whose teams place in the top three in both the culinary and management competitions. The funds were donated from nine of the leading post-secondary culinary and hospitality programs in the country, including Louisiana Culinary Institute, Le Cordon Bleu and University of New Orleans School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism, among others. This year begins a multi-year relationship with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, the competition's title sponsor.

The competition showcases the culinary and academic talents of high school junior and senior ProStart students from 17 schools across Louisiana. The competition features two primary components: the Culinary Competition and the Management Competition.

During the Culinary Competition, Tuesday, March 5 from 10:45 a.m. - 3 p.m., teams will demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course, gourmet meal consisting of: a soup, salad or appetizer; a protein such as meat, fish or fowl, vegetable and starch; and a cold or flambé dessert. All teams' menus must have at least one type of Louisiana seafood. Twenty-one judges from the foodservice industry, and post-secondary educational institutions will observe and rate their performance during the competition.

Teams participating in the Management Competition, Wednesday, March 6 from 8:30 a.m. - 1:35 p.m., will demonstrate 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. Their performance will be observed and rated by 14 judges from leading colleges and universities and industry professionals.

The 2013 LRAEF ProStart Student Competition Sponsors include: Louisiana Seafood, Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor Services, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Performance Foodservice Caro, Atmos Energy, Louisiana Culinary Institute, Ocean Conservancy, Ovations, ECOLAB, Notini's Restaurant, Capitol City Produce, Centerplate, Drago's Seafood Restaurant, Freeman Decorating, Pontchartrain Convention & Civic Center, Reinhart Foodservice and Sysco New Orleans.

ProStart is a two-year comprehensive culinary management course for juniors and seniors in high school with two primary outcomes: to prepare students for higher education and to train students to go directly to work in Louisiana's foodservice industry. The LRAEF pairs ProStart students and LRA members together in a mutually-beneficial relationship. Students are required to complete a 400-hour work internship, thus providing hands-on training. Many of LRA members serve as mentors to ProStart students.

The participating schools are:

MANAGEMENT Competition          CULINARY ARTS Competition

East St. John High School                               Ascension Parish Center of Excellence

Fontainebleau High School                             East St. John High School

Hammond High Magnet School                      Fontainebleau High School

Lakeshore High School                                   Grace King High School

N. Vermillion High School                              Hammond High Magnet School

Rayne High School                                          Lakeshore High School

Salmen High School                                        Mandeville High School

Slidell High School                                          N. Vermillion High School

Woodlawn High School                                   Rayne High School

                                                                        Salmen High School

                                                                        Slidell High School

                                                                        St. James Career Center

                                                                        Thibodaux High School

WD Smith Career Center

W. Feliciana High School

West St. John High School

Woodlawn High School

The winning teams will go on to represent Louisiana at the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, Md. April 19-21, 2013.


ProStart is a registered trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

ProStart is a two-year, culinary management program for high school juniors and seniors with a curriculum designed to teach students culinary techniques as well as restaurant management skills. ProStart is in more than 40 high schools statewide and more than 1,200 students participate in the program.  

The Louisiana Restaurant Association is one of the largest business organizations in the state, representing restaurant operations and related businesses. The restaurant industry in Louisiana is one the state's largest private employer, providing jobs to nearly 200,000 residents. Restaurants in Louisiana are expected to generate sales of $6.8 billion in 2013. Get up-to-date news about the LRA and the restaurant industry from