ProStart® Teams Serve It Up at Nationals

Two Nebraska ProStart teams served up their best at the National ProStart Invitational (NPSI) held April 27-30 in Providence, Rhode Island, and they placed higher in the competition than any previous Nebraska team.

Team members Savana Moore and Jazmin Koebel from Papillion La Vista South High School’s “MoodFood” competed against 45 other teams in the Management competition and took a commanding 6th place finish. “Guac and Roll,” Lincoln’s Career Academy’s team of Francisco Chavira Gonzalez, Tessa Mariscal, Corbin Reinhardt, and Sagan Smith, placed in the top 25, a strong showing in a tough Culinary competition.

ProStart is a program of the Hospitality Education Foundation, the educational arm of the Nebraska Restaurant Association. The curriculum is designed to teach high school students the culinary and management skills that lead to successful careers as professionals in the hospitality and food service industry. Annually, over 400 of the top ProStart students from across the U.S. – the winners of Regional and State competitions – vie for scholarships in the secondary school invitational which focuses on restaurant management and culinary arts. Attendance at the competition would not have been possible without the support of National ProStart sponsors Don & Millie’s and Nebraska Pork Producers.

As one of the 46 teams in the Management competition, the “MoodFood” team was required to develop their own unique restaurant concept. The team presented a written and oral proposal to a panel of world-class judges who then quizzed them on how they would solve some of the challenges restaurateurs face daily. “MoodFood” received invaluable support and training from Educator Louise Dornbusch and Mentor Casey Craven of Herbe Sainte, a ProStart “alum.”

Culinary contenders, the “Guac and Roll” team showcased their creativity and proficiency by preparing a three-course meal in 60 minutes using only two butane burners and without access to running water or electricity. Judges evaluated “Guac and Roll” not only on taste, but on skill, teamwork, safety, and sanitation. Chef Maybell Galusha, the Career Academy educator, and Mentor Justin Stout, corporate chef for Eat Fit Go, provided unparalleled professional guidance and assistance to the team.