DATE CHANGE: South Dakota ProStart Invitational Moved to March 18 Due to Expected Inclement WeatherSouth Dakota Retailers Association 3/6/2019
Teams of students from high schools across South Dakota will compete for scholarships and recognition at the twelfth annual South Dakota ProStart Invitational March 18 in Mitchell. The competition tests students on culinary, restaurant management and cake decorating knowledge and skills.
The competition was originally slated for March 11 and 12, but was postponed a week due to forecasts of bad weather.
The ProStart Invitational is a joint effort of the South Dakota Department of Education, the South Dakota Retailers Association and the South Dakota ProStart Advisory Committee.
“The ProStart program is one of the best career and technical programs for high school students.” said Seanna Regynski, ProStart Coordinator for the South Dakota Retailers Association. “ProStart is growing in numbers, and we have seen tremendous support from schools who offer restaurant and hospitality courses to students. ProStart teaches business skills such as customer service, overhead, inventory, business math, food safety and sanitation, along with impressive culinary skills that will last a lifetime. ProStart is a viable pathway to success and lays down a strong foundation for students.”
The state ProStart Invitational provides an opportunity for students to put to the test all of the skills they’ve developed in the classroom. It is composed of two main areas: culinary and restaurant management. It also includes a cake decorating competition.
In the culinary portion of the competition, each team will prepare a three-course meal in one hour, using only two butane burners, and without running water or electricity. Professional chefs will score the teams on numerous factors including preparation skills, taste, presentation, teamwork, safety and sanitation.
In the restaurant management part of the competition, teams will develop a proposal on a restaurant concept, and present it to judges from the foodservice industry. The presentations will include details about the layout, menu and pricing for the restaurant concept. Next, their problem solving skills will be tested as they answer questions from foodservice professionals about challenges faced daily by businesses.
“The South Dakota ProStart Competition is the state’s premier culinary and restaurant management competition for high school students.” said Amber Rost, Career and Technical Education Development Specialist for the South Dakota Department of Education. “Thanks to the South Dakota Retailers Association for hosting the event, each year it proves to be incredibly successful in showcasing the talents of South Dakota students and helping inspire tomorrow’s industry leaders!”
The ProStart Invitational will be held at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell on Monday, March 18 and is open to the public at no charge. The culinary competition gets underway at 9:00 a.m. Management teams begin competing at 2:00 p.m. The competition will conclude with an awards ceremony and announcement of the top teams going to the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, DC.
ProStart is a nationwide high school curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). It helps prepare high school students for leadership positions in the workplace by teaching skills which are crucial in any place of employment. Combining hands-on learning in the classroom with mentored work experience, the program provides education on culinary skills, safety, inventory, cost controls, customer service, business math and other practical business management skills. ProStart reaches more than 140,000 students in 1,800 high schools across 50 states, the Territory of Guam and U.S. military bases in Europe and the Pacific. In South Dakota, 18 schools offer the ProStart program.