18th Annual ProStart Invitational

February 27, 2017



Now in its 18th year, the ProStart Invitational & Sysco Denver Hospitality Cup Competition will be held at Johnson & Wales University March 2-3, 2017. In addition to featuring more than 29 high school culinary and management teams competing for more than $1,000,000 in scholarship opportunities, the event showcases an industry and post-secondary job/college fair, competition best practices, and Colorado ProStart Alumni panel.

Alumni panelists include:

  • Moses Herrera (Pueblo Central H.S. 2000) - Global Learning & Development Manager - Commercial Services & Revenue Management/Hilton Worldwide
  • Sarah Brown (Standley Lake H.S. 2011) - Sauce Table Coordinator/Paula Leduc Fine Catering
  • Matt Thompson (Battle Mountain H.S. 2004) - Executive Chef/Williams & Graham
  • Robert Van Dyke (Golden H.S. 2005) - FCCLA State Adviser/Assistant Family & Consumer Sciences Program Director/Colorado Community College System

In a cross between “Top Chef” and “Shark Tank,” more than 250 ProStart students from across Colorado will demonstrate their mastery of culinary and business management skills. During the Culinary Competition, teams demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course, gourmet meal in one-hour using only two butane burners. During the Management Competition, teams demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant concept, including the menu, design, budget and marketing strategies which they present to a panel of judges as an entrepreneur would pitch to a group of investors. Participants in both events engage in a battle of skill and knowledge, with points awarded on specific criteria, such as proper cooking procedures, safety and sanitation, presentation, product taste, menu costing, and teamwork. 

“This is like working in the amped-up environment of a packed restaurant on a Friday night,” said Mary Mino, president of the foundation. “Students who can perform under this pressure are well prepared to graduate and pursue a career in the hospitality industry, or have a leg up on their post-secondary culinary or management education.”

The school that accumulates the most points at the end of the contest will take home the “Sysco Denver Hospitality Cup.” The winning gold medal teams from the state competition will represent Colorado ProStart at the National ProStart Invitational in Charleston, S. C. on April 28-29, 2017.  

Students are competing for over $1,000,000 in scholarship opportunities from the following institutions: Johnson & Wales University, August Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Louisiana Culinary Institute, New England Culinary Institute, The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute, Culinary Institute of Virginia, and The Culinary Institute of America.

THE 2017 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS IN EACH COMPETITION ARE:

PROSTART CULINARY TEAMS

Adams City High School
Aspen High School
Central High School
Coronado High School
Fruita Monument High School
Gateway High School
Grandview High School
Mountain View High School
Palisade High School
Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus
Smoky Hill High School
Standley Lake High School
St. Vrain High School (Valley School District)
Summit High School
ThunderRidge High School
Westminster High School
Woodland Park High School
Youth Entity Roaring Fork School District

PROSTART MANAGEMENT TEAMS

Adams City High School
Boulder High School
Broomfield High School
Coronado High School
Fruita Monument High School
Grandview High School
Mountain View High School
Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus
Smoky Hill High School
Summit High School
ThunderRidge High School

 

  The Foundation established the ProStart Student Invitational and Sysco Hospitality Cup competition to provide industry and post-secondary education with a forum to recruit the ProStart program’s best and brightest talent.  Event sponsors include Sysco Denver, Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, Colorado Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Johnson & Wales University, Seattle Fish Company, and Ecolab.

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