Oregon ProStart Culinary Championships

February 27, 2016 | Chemeketa Community College, Salem, OR

What a day to remember! Over 100 students representing 20 schools from around the state competed in the 2016 Oregon ProStart High School Culinary Championships presented by Boyds Coffee® in Salem on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. At stake were over $212,000 in scholarships as well as a multitude of valuable prizes. These student chefs created three-course gourmet meals using only two butane burners that showcased Oregon ingredients, without the benefit of electricity! Evaluation via industry-recognized criteria under the watchful eyes of professional chef judges awarded top honors in the highly competitive field. This event is the yearly capstone project for the career and technical education (CTE) foodservice training program, ProStart.

Congratulations to South Salem High School (pictured) culinary team who took first place overall in 2016! Their winning menu included Kaffir lime dusted shrimp with forbidden black rice, parmesan crusted Oregon rockfish with charred carrot roll and potato puree, and bittersweet single origin flourless chocolate cake with a dome of white chocolate and raspberry compote.

2016 Boyds Coffee Culinary Cup Winners:

    First Place: South Salem High School
    Second Place: Sabin-Schellenberg Center
    Third Place:  North Eugene School
    Fourth Place:  Bend High School
    Fifth Place:  Colton High School

2016 Category Awards:

    Best Knife Skills: North Salem High School
    Best Poultry Fabrication: South Salem High School
    Best Overall Team Work: McMinnville High School

2016 ProStart Awards:

    Mentor of the Year: Serge Queant, Roseburg High School
    Student of the Year: Teshia Gore, Tualatin High School

Photos from the 2016 event can be seen on our Flickr page.
Media can contact WPopkin@OregonRLA.org or LLittle@OregonRLA.org at 503.682.4422 for photos.

Coached by teachers and professional chefs, ProStart teams demonstrate their mastery of skills in seven categories of the fast-paced competition. Points are based on many criteria including complexity of their menu, taste, presentation, knife skills, and teamwork.

“ProStart students learn skills - such as teamwork, communication, and decision making- that are important to success in any career they choose to pursue. They also gain a tremendous amount of self-confidence.  This event is their capstone project, and is as exciting to watch as any sports tournament,” says Wendy Popkin, executive director of the Education Foundation for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLAEF.) “As a career and technical education (CTE) curriculum, ProStart also teaches specific culinary and management skills needed by Oregon’s fifth largest employer, Leisure and Hospitality, as one of the state's fastest growing industries accounting for over 164,000 jobs.

Currently 36 Oregon schools, with more than 3,000 students participate in the ProStart training program. Nationally, ProStart is taught in more than 1,700 schools across 50 states, Guam and U.S. military bases. This school year alone, over 118,000 students are enrolled.

For more information on how you can participate in or support this program, contact Wendy Popkin, executive director, ORLA Education Foundation, at 503.682.4422.

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