The 11th Annual Prostart Invitational cooking competition on February 25th was setup to showcase the skills of students in culinary art classes from all over the state of Illinois.
The cooking competition hosted 12 teams of culinary art students and 10 management teams, all competing for the title. The competition was hosted by the Illinois Restaurant Association Education Foundation and was sponsored by SYSCO Foodservice in Chicago. The 10 groups of hospitality management students had to propose a restaurant concept and were judged based on their ideas, their menus, and marketing strategies for a phony restaurant.
The culinary art students were subjected to a series of contest categories and events that challenged not only the skills they picked up in cooking classes, but their knowledge of the hospitality and management aspects of the industry.
The 12 groups of cooking school students had to complete two three course meals of identical serving size and composition; each meal needed to consist of an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert and the students only had 95-minutes to get the job done.
The students of the cooking school at the Technology Center of Dupage took home the first place prize, thanks in part to an outstanding dessert item that won them twenty out of twenty possible points. Their efforts won them thousands in scholarship funds sponsored by 8 cooking schools and the chance to compete in the national ProStart Invitational in April. Their next steps will be in preparation to compete against the state champions from cooking schools around the nation in the country-wide finale of the Prostart Invitational.