As the philanthropic foundation of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, ORLAEF supports and promotes diverse career, educational and public service opportunities within the hospitality industry to create a vibrant industry that contributes to Oregon’s economic livelihood and its citizens’ quality of life. Oregon’s foodservice and lodging industry is responsible for 183,191 jobs bringing in over $13.8 billion in annual sales – making the hospitality industry the cornerstone of the economy and one of the state’s largest employers.
High school teams compete in statewide culinary and management competitions at Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (ORLAEF) ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco. Students prepare a three-course gourmet meal in 60 minutes in front of chef judges and spectators using only two butane burners, and without access to running water or electricity. Additionally, three teams will develop a unique restaurant concept and present it to a panel of judges at a simulated business presentation during the management competition.
Monday, March 2, 2020 – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full schedule posted online.
Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial Street SE, Salem
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event.
Helping high school students jump-start culinary careers, ORLAEF supports educators and schools offering ProStart, a national career and technical education (CTE) curriculum and program developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Teaching culinary, teamwork and management skills needed by restaurant, hospitality and food service employers, the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational is the capstone of this two-year program, providing a public opportunity for students to showcase what they have learned.
Of the 33 Oregon high school programs, currently involving over 3,800 ProStart students, 9 schools are sending teams to this year’s invitational. Culinary heats begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 1:15 p.m. Chef judges evaluate culinary teams on taste, presentation, knife skills, and teamwork. The management competition runs from 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. and teams are evaluated on their concept, marketing strategies, menu, recipes and food costs, operations and critical thinking skills. Winners of both competitions will be announced at the awards dinner. Students also vie for a share of $570,000 in scholarships and prizes.
A diverse group of 50 judges including chefs from the restaurant industry, educational institutions, small and large conference centers and hotel / hospitality professionals volunteer their time and expertise to the event.
Sponsoring organizations, including ORLAEF, Sysco, FoodWasteStopsWithMe.org, Curtis Restaurant Equipment, Pelican Brewing Company, Togather Restaurant Consulting, Ecolab, Johnson Controls, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, Salem Convention Center, and NRAEF help send the first-place teams to the 2020 National ProStart Invitational, May 8-10, in Washington, D.C.
Participating in the ProStart career technical education classes prepares students for community college certifications and degrees.
For more information about the ProStart Oregon culinary championship, visit http://bit.ly/ORprostart.