400 HS Students And Top Restaurant Mavens Arrive At 17th National ProStart Invitational

17th National ProStart Invitational

Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Teams from Across the U.S. Compete for $160,000 in Scholarships April 27, 28, 29 at the Providence Convention Center


Offering a glimpse into the future of the restaurant industry, nearly 400 students from across the United States will compete this weekend at the 17th annual National ProStart Invitational, the nation’s premier high school competition for culinary arts and restaurant management.

The three-day event will feature surprise guest appearances by Ted Allen, host of “Chopped” on the Food Network and author of “In My Kitchen,” and Nicole Silva entrepreneur and founder of Crumbles by Nicole and finalist on ABC’s “The Great Holiday Baking Show.” The National ProStart Invitational gives students an unprecedented opportunity to show off their skills and compete for $160,000 in post-secondary culinary education. Many of the world’s top restaurant and foodservice companies and more than 17 colleges and universities will be in attendance to see the next generation of talent in action.

“For the 17th year, our industry is on track to outpace the country’s overall job growth,” said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “ProStart students are ahead of the game on starting their career and leave the program with the skills and training employers seek. This weekend’s competition is their time to shine on the national stage.”

Students also have the opportunity to interact with industry leaders at Friday’s business and education expo featuring representatives from major restaurant and foodservice companies and universities. New for 2018, the National ProStart Invitational will introduce two “Share-a-Coke” sessions, where students can ask questions and get career advice from special guests Ted Allen and Nicole Silva.

The National ProStart Invitational is the finale in a series of state contests hosted by state restaurant associations. Held by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, past winners of the competition have gone on to establish careers at some of the best restaurants in the world, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York and Alinea in Chicago.


New England Food Show November 2018 728×90

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF): As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts.

The NRAEF and its programs work to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. 

For more information, visit ChooseRestaurants.org/