Vista CA) – Students from Vista High School are about to compete in the California ProStart Cup, a high-stakes culinary arts and business competition presented by BJ’s Restaurants and hosted by the California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF) on March 18-19 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona.
Students will have inspiration this year from chef and keynote speaker Jet Tila of TV’s Chopped, the Rachael Ray Show, and Guy’s Grocery Games. Students can compete in three competitions, culinary, management, and innovation, for a chance to win major scholarships.
Culinary Cup: Participants have just one hour to prepare a starter, entrée, and dessert using only two butane burners. Competitors must calculate the cost of their recipes and are judged on knife skills, teamwork, and communication.
Management Cup: Participants must prepare a business proposal for a new restaurant concept, including marketing tactics, a menu, restaurant design, and organizational structure.
Innovation Cup: In a first-of-its-kind competition, teams of high school students will develop and pitch a concept for a robot, product, app or software to improve the restaurant industry.
“Our students work incredibly hard for this year after year,” said Chef Kim Plunkett “This is the culmination of everything they’ve learned in class. It’s nerve-wracking to watch!”
More than 250 students will compete and be judged by 65 industry representatives from brands like BJ’s Restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen, Urban Plates, Hard Rock Café, and Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. Winners will go on to represent California at the National ProStart Invitational in Rhode Island, April 28-29. Most notably, competitors are vying for more than $2.3 million in available scholarships and will get to meet with more than 35 employers, colleges and universities who will be on site.
About the California Restaurant Association Foundation: a non-profit that empowers and invests in California’s current and future restaurant workforce. Founded in 1981, CRAF supports the restaurant community through emergency assistance grants for restaurant workers facing a hardship, job and life skills training for 9,000 high school students each year, and scholarships.