The RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) hosted the 11th Annual Rhode Island Prostart® High School Culinary Arts, Foodservice & Hotel Management Competition on Tuesday, February 7th at the Crowne Plaza Providence-Warwick.
This year’s event featured culinary, food service management, and hotel management competitors from CHARIHOTech, the East Providence Career & Technical Center, the Exeter Job Corps Academy, Newport Area Career and Technical Center, William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School, and the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center.
More than 50 local professionals judged the 45 total students who competed in three areas:
● Culinary Arts: competing teams demonstrated their technical skills including safe food transportation, knife skills, a cook-off by preparing a three-course meal (using only two burners), teamwork/cooperation, professionalism/appearance, plate presentation, and more.
● Foodservice Management: students presented a restaurant concept and business plan including design boards, floor plans, marketing plans, and menu design.
● Hotel Management: competing teams demonstrated their hotel industry acumen by designing a hotel property using skills and knowledge learned in the classroom. Teams also submitted a written proposal for review and presented their concepts to various judges through verbal presentations, critical thinking question and answer sections and posters.
As part of the competition’s awards, seven different colleges and universities pledged $500,000 in available scholarship money to be shared among the winning teams.
A culinary team from the Exeter Job Corps Academy won the Culinary Arts portion of the competition, a foodservice management team from the East Providence Area Career & Technical Center won the Foodservice Management portion of the competition, and a hospitality and tourism management team from CHARIHOTech won the Hotel Management portion of the competition.
The winners of the Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management portions of the competition will represent Rhode Island at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s National ProStart® Invitational competition, which returns to Washington D.C. on May 2, 2023. There, nationally recognized hospitality and foodservice industry professionals will judge the students.
In addition, Newport Restaurant Group’s Avvio Ristorante in Cranston will featurean adaptation of the Exeter Job Corps Academy Culinary Arts team’s “Winning Dish” from the 11th Annual Rhode Island ProStart® High School Culinary, Foodservice & Hotel Management Competition on its menu: a pan-seared Tuscan-Style Veal Chop served with mashed Yukon gold potatoes and sauteed root vegetables. Sin Desserts in Providence will also feature a dessert created by the William M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School: a Whipped White Chocolate Ganache with Grapefruit Curd.
“I am so proud of all the incredible student competitors who dedicated months of practice and preparation for this event, as well as our countless volunteers and industry judges whose feedback is so invaluable,” said Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO of the RI Hospitality Association and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation. “While it’s a competition at its core, today’s event served as a reminder that our industry is in good hands with so much young talent, and so many willing mentors to foster that talent, here in Rhode Island.”