KENNER — The Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Competition will be Tuesday and Wednesday at the Pontchartrain Center, according to a news release.
Hosted by the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the competition gives student teams a chance to win a total of $872,000 in scholarships, donated by nine of the leading post-secondary culinary and hospitality programs in the country, including the Louisiana Culinary Institute, Le Cordon Bleu and the University of New Orleans School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism. The competition is sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and other restaurants and businesses.
Teams of high school juniors and seniors from 17 schools across Louisiana will compete in culinary and management competitions. In the culinary competition, from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, teams will prepare a three-course gourmet meal of a soup, salad or appetizer; a protein such as meat, fish or fowl, vegetable and starch; and a cold or flambé dessert. All menus must feature at least one type of Louisiana seafood. The food will be judged by 21 judges from the foodservice industry and representatives from post-secondary institutions will observe and rate the teams’ performances.
Schools participating in the culinary competition include Baton Rouge’s Woodlawn High School, Ascension Parish Center of Excellence, East St. John High School, Fontainebleau High School, Grace King High School, Hammond High Magnet School, Lakeshore High School, Mandeville High School, North Vermillion High School, Rayne High School, Salmen High School, Slidell High School, the St. James Career Center, Thibodaux High School, the WD Smith Career Center, West Feliciana High School and West St. John High School.
For the management competition, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. Wednesday, teams will demonstrate their knowledge of the foodservice industry by developing and presenting a restaurant proposal and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations. Their performances will be observed and rated by 14 judges from leading colleges and universities as well as industry professionals. Schools participating in the management competition include Baton Rouge’s Woodlawn High School, East St. John High School, Fontainebleau High School, Hammond High Magnet School, Lakeshore High School, North Vermillion High School, Rayne High School, Salmen High School and Slidell High School.
ProStart is a two-year culinary management course for high school juniors and seniors that will prepare them for higher education and a place in the foodservice industry. Students are required to complete a 400-hour work internship in addition to classroom training. Winning teams from the Louisiana Seafood ProStart Competition will go on to represent Louisiana at the National ProStart Invitational in April in Baltimore.