Oregon High Schools Take Home over $570,000 in scholarships at the 2020 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational
Nine Schools Competed in Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation’s Statewide Competition Showcasing the Hospitality Industry’s Future Chefs
[March 2, 2020 – Salem, Oregon] – The challenge for the student chef teams was to prepare a three-course gourmet meal with only two butane burners in under an hour. Willamette High School pulled this off with excellence, winning top honors in the culinary competition at the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco. McMinnville High School took first in the management competition and also swept the category awards. The event was hosted by the Education Foundation of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLAEF) on March 2, 2020 in Salem, Oregon.
“The atmosphere at this event was electric,” said Wendy Popkin, executive director of ORLAEF. “The ProStart program does a remarkable job preparing high school students with fundamental skills such as communication, teamwork, time management and professionalism needed to enter the workforce.”
The teams from Willamette High School and McMinnville High School will head to the 2020 National ProStart Invitational® May 8-10, 2020, in Washington, D.C. These Oregon champions also receive a share of over $570,000 scholarships and prizes from local and national culinary schools to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
Final results for the statewide culinary competition:
- First Place: Willamette High School
- Second Place: North Eugene High School
- Third Place: Seaside High School
- Fourth Place: Crook County High School
- Fifth Place: CTEC
Final results for the statewide management competition:
- First Place: McMinnville High School
- Second Place: South Salem High School
- Third Place: CTEC
Culinary Category Awards:
- People’s Choice Award – North Salem High School
- Teamwork – McMinnville High School
- Professional Menu Presentation – Willamette High School
- Sanitation – North Eugene High School
Management Category Awards:
- Concept – McMinnville High School
- Professional Presentation – McMinnville High School
ORLAEF ProStart Invitational Awards:
- Teacher of the Year – Macy Hagensee, Crook County H.S.
- Mentor of the Year – Chef Michael Thieme
- Alumni of the Year – Cole Barnhardt
Willamette High School’s winning menu included Cheese and Herb Agnolotti, Seared Halibut Blackberry Beurre Rouge, and Creme Caramel en Cage.
“It is with great pleasure Sysco Portland is once again proud to be the leading sponsor of the ProStart program. These young culinarians from our state are building skills that are foundational to their careers in the hospitality industry,” said Bobbie McDonald, Sysco Portland, title sponsor.
ProStart, one of the nation’s largest industry-supported career and technical education (CTE) programs, teaches high school students culinary and management skills needed by restaurant, hospitality and foodservice employers. Focused on culinary techniques and restaurant management skills, this competency-based curriculum also includes real-life restaurant experiences. The ORLAEF ProStart Invitational is the capstone of this two-year program, providing a public opportunity for students to showcase what they have learned.
Currently 33 Oregon schools, with more than 3,869 students, participate in the ProStart training program. Internationally, ProStart includes 150,000 students in 1,900 schools and technical centers across the United States, and in Guam and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and the Pacific.
Visit OregonRLA.org/championships more information and photos from the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational.
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 restaurant and foodservice 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.