Talented high school students studying the business and art of food will compete during the 2024 Texas ProStart Invitational, presented by Raising Cane’s set for March 8-10, at the Waco Convention Center (100 Washington Ave.) in Waco, Texas. Beloved by participants and spectators alike, the annual competition showcases teams of aspiring young chefs, and future restaurateurs who are involved in ProStart, a two-year, industry-based high school culinary arts and restaurant management program. The curriculum for this national program is managed in Texas at more than 225 high schools by the Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF), the nonprofit workforce development arm of the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA).
High school teams of 5 students will compete in one of two categories: culinary or management. At the 2024 Texas ProStart Invitational, 50 culinary teams and 12 management teams will compete, creating one of the largest qualifying events in the US. The top teams from each category will go on to compete at the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, set for April 2024.
Culinary teams will prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes with two butane burners and limited supplies. Judges will evaluate the students’ knife skills, teamwork, safety and sanitation, the taste of the food, and menu development, specifically regarding recipes and cost. Students on management teams will develop and present (Shark Tank-style) an original restaurant concept, including a menu, staffing, and marketing plans, then rely on critical thinking skills to address everyday challenges.
A fast-paced display of creativity, advanced industry knowledge, and collaboration, the Texas ProStart competition is a must-attend weekend for all fans of food. The competition is open to the public.
If you would like to attend, you do not need to register and attendance is free. Mark your calendars!