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Kansas ProStart Invitational - Who Made the Cut?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Wichita, Kan. – More than 120 students representing high schools from across the state demonstrated their mastery of restaurant leadership skills — culinary and management — in the fast-paced Kansas ProStart Invitational. Top teams advance on to represent Kansas at the National ProStart Invitational.


Sponsored by the KRHA Educational Foundation (KRHAEF), this year’s event was held on Tuesday, March 8 at the Wichita Marriott.


“These young adults represent the future of our industry,” said Neely Carlson, KRHA’s VP of Education and Training.  “The ProStart Invitational is an opportunity for students to showcase industry skills they learn in the classroom while vying for awards and scholarship money.  The students have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and learn the skills necessary for a long-term career.”


The Kansas ProStart Invitational is a highlight of the restaurant management program (ProStart) curriculum sponsored by KRHAEF. Each year, the event grows and allows students to compete in two major categories — each of which requires intensive culinary and management skills.

 1st Place Culinary - Olathe Public Schools

1st Place Management - Wichita Heights High School


Winners of the 2017 Kansas ProStart Invitational include:


Culinary 1st place = Olathe Public Schools

Culinary 2nd place = Broadmoor Technical Center

Culinary 3rd place = Maize High School

Culinary 4th place = Eisenhower High School (Team Blue)



1st = Wichita Heights High School

2nd = Maize High School

3rd = Olathe Public Schools

4th = Garden City High School


Each team in the culinary event had one hour to demonstrate their creative abilities by preparing a three-course meal that was then judged by professionals from the foodservice industry and post-secondary schools. Teams are evaluated on taste, teamwork, safety and sanitation, among other skills.  


Teams participating in the management competition were tested on their communication skills, as well as their ability to apply their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a business proposal for a new restaurant concept. The first place teams from Olathe Public Schools and Wichita Heights High School will move on to compete at the annual National ProStart Invitational to be held on April 28-30 in Charleston, South Carolina.


While the culinary and management competitions qualify the winning teams for a spot at the National ProStart event, there are additional competitions that allow other students to showcase their skills and talents. Students in the edible centerpiece competition demonstrate their creative abilities by carving fruits and vegetables to create an edible work of art


Edible Centerpiece

1st = Olathe Public Schools - Grace

2nd = Olathe Public Schools - Dorian

3rd = Olathe Public Schools - Kenedy

4th = Eudora High School - Brooke


Best Pork:  Wichita South High School

Best Beef:  Abilene High School


ProStart helps students further their education by alleviating financial burdens. This year, teams who placed first through third in the Culinary and Management competitions will be eligible for scholarships through The Culinary Institute of America, The Culinary Institute of Virginia, Flint Hills Technical College, Kansas State University, Louisiana Culinary Institute, New England Culinary Institute, and Sullivan University. The teams that place first in these competitions will also be eligible for an offer from The Art Institutes.


“One-in-three Americans’ first job is working at a restaurant. Whether the students choose our industry as a career, or a stepping stone on the way to another profession, the skills they are learning will be critical for future success,” said Neeley Carlson of the KRHA. “ProStart students are learning soft skills such as time management, decision making, professionalism, teamwork, communication skills, and a few industry-specific skills such as culinary techniques and restaurant principles.”  


Media Contact:

Neeley Carlson, VP Education & Training 








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