Press release from the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association:
The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA), the voice of North Carolina’s $23 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry, today announced that Cary High School and Smithfield Selma High School secured first place finishes in the 2019 North Carolina ProStart Invitational (NCPI) presented by Golden Corral. NCPI is a high-stakes culinary arts and restaurant management competition organized by the association’s philanthropic arm, the North Carolina Hospitality Education Foundation.
The 2019 NCPI took place March 7-9, at Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte. High school students from across North Carolina put their skills to the test in front of industry leaders, family and friends with the hopes to earn more than $700,000 in scholarships—awarded to first, second and third place teams—to top culinary schools across the country. More than 100 ProStart students, made up of 18 teams from across the state, demonstrated their mastery of skills in the fast-paced, high level competition.
The following teams placed in the top five for the management and culinary divisions of the competition:
2019 NCPI Culinary Winners
First place: Cary High School, Cary
Second place: Smithfield Selma High School, Smithfield
Third place: TC Roberson High School, Asheville
Fourth place: Cleveland High School, Clayton
Fifth place: Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, Raleigh
2019 NCPI Management Winners
First place: Smithfield Selma High School, Smithfield
Second place: North Buncombe High School, Weaverville
Third place: Erwin High School, Asheville
Fourth place: Sanderson High School, Raleigh
Fifth place: Western Harnett High School, Lillington
Both Cary High School and Smithfield Selma High School advance to the prestigious National ProStart Invitational in Washington D.C. taking place May 8-10, 2019. The two teams will attend a preparation boot camp in April.
“North Carolina’s hospitality industry is thriving, and demand for talent to meet job growth is at an all-time high. We are proud to be a part of a program that continues to prepare the industry’s future leaders for a fulfilling career in the restaurant and hospitality industry,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO of NCRLA and NC HEF. “These students have demonstrated amazing competencies during the annual North Carolina ProStart competition. There is no doubt that they will make us proud as they advance to the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C. this May.”
The culinary competition highlights each team’s creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners, and without access to running water or electricity. The culinary teams are evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation.
The management competition requires teams to develop a proposal for the next promising restaurant concept and present it to the panel of industry judges. Students must communicate their entrepreneurial ideas clearly and use their problem-solving skills to solve challenges faced by managers daily.
The ProStart program is utilized in more than 1,700 high schools in 50 states, Guam and on U.S. military bases and reaches nearly 120,000 secondary students annually. Many post-secondary schools in the nation recognize ProStart’s Certificate of Achievement, which is awarded to students who complete both levels of the program and at least 400 hours of work experience, and reward them with scholarships and credits.
To learn more about the North Carolina ProStart program, click here.