175 Area Students to Compete in Fiery, Elite Foodservice Competition this Weekend

Feb 6

(FRISCO, TX) – This weekend, 20 schools from the north Texas region will compete in ProStart, an elite culinary and management competition, including the reigning national champions from 2019.

(Pictured is the 2020 culinary team from Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy)

The competition will take place at Collin College Preston Ridge Campus in Frisco, with check-in on Friday, February 7 and all competitions on Saturday, February 8.

ProStart competitions are made up of two categories: management and culinary. Management teams develop and present an original restaurant concept, including menu, staffing, and marketing plans, and then apply critical thinking skills to everyday challenges asked by the judges. Culinary teams have 60 minutes to prepare a three-course meal using only two butane burners and limited supplies. Both competitions are fast-paced and thrilling to watch.

Culinary teams from the following 17 high schools will compete on Saturday: Mesquite High School, West Mesquite High School, Molina High School, Poteet High School, Burkbennett High School Culinary Academy, Allen High School, Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy, Ben Barber Innovation Academy, Dubiski Career High School, Foster High School, Azle High School, Cedar Hill High School (two teams), Prosper High School, North Texas Job Corps, Buinger Career & Technical Education Academy, and Richardson High School.

Management teams from the following nine high schools will compete on Saturday: Poteet High School, Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy, Foster High School, Dubiski Career High School, Slocum High School, Bill R Johnson Career & Tech Center, DeSoto High School, Ben Barber Innovation Academy, and Mesquite High School.

In 2019, the culinary team from Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy in Rockwall and the management team from Ben Barber Innovation Academy in Mansfield placed first in the nation – and this year they are looking to do it again.

“We work hard, support one another, and problem-solve daily,” said Chef Cody Hayes, culinary arts instructor at Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy. “I have found that ProStart provides students a sense of belonging and a sense of family – a class full of challenges but one that students thrive in because of their love for serving others in our industry. Additionally, students often do better in their other academic classes because our curriculum includes math and science.”

All schools are participants in Texas ProStart, an industry-based culinary arts and hospitality program and curriculum. Produced by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF), the Texas ProStart competitions are the largest in the country, with more than 350 students competing in either culinary or restaurant management.

The next regional qualifier will be held March 7-8 in Round Rock. The top six teams from each category in each regional (Frisco and Round Rock) will advance to the Texas ProStart State Final competition on March 27-28 at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. The winning teams from the state finals will then advance to represent Texas at the National ProStart Invitational, which is being held in Washington, DC on May 8-10, 2020.

For more information about this weekend’s competition, view the online guide.

About the Texas Restaurant Association 
The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA represents the state’s $66 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 48,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the Association represents, educates and promotes the growing industry.


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