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Students take part in culinary competition
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Photo courtesy of the FLORIDA RESTAURANT AND LODGING ASSOCIATION
Students from the Tarpon Springs High School Jacobson Culinary Institute present a prepared meal at the 14th annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition.
TARPON SPRINGS – Earlier in the month, 60 schools traveled to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando to participate in Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Educational Foundation’s 14th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition.

More than $800,000 in scholarships was distributed to the winning schools. All participating teams were comprised of high school juniors and seniors that are enrolled in the ProStart curriculum program during the 2013-2014 school year. Teams participated in four competitions: the Cracker Barrel Management Competition (teams demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a defined restaurant concept, supporting menu, supporting marketing plan, comprehensive written proposal, verbal presentation and visual display), the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition (teams demonstrated their creative abilities through the preparation of a starter, protein, starch, vegetable and dessert), the Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition (teams prepared an edible centerpiece consisting of fruits and vegetables, then explained nutritional information, product availability and preparation techniques), and the Coca-Cola Company Waiters Relay Competition (teams duplicated a table setting while racing against the clock).

Tarpon Springs High School’s Jacobson Culinary Institute, led by Cathleen Ryan, won second place in the overall competition, third place in the Cracker Barrel Management Competition, third place in the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition and fifth place in the Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition.

“(Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Educational Foundation) is the only organization in Florida that offers the ProStart program,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the association, in a press release. “It is designed to increase the quality and employability of today’s high school graduates by providing them with school-to-career training and giving them more opportunities for food service and lodging careers, and higher education. We congratulate all the winners and participants.”
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