2024 Texas ProStart Invitational Details

Thank you to our Title Sponsor!


presented by Raising Cane's

March 8-10, 2024

Waco Convention Center
100 Washington Ave, Waco, TX 76701


Register Your Team!


The Texas ProStart Invitational, presented by Raising Cane's is an event that brings together high school students from all across the Lone Star State. It's an opportunity for students from across the great state of Texas to showcase their skills in a real-world setting. With competitions in Culinary Arts, Restaurant Management, and Hospitality Services, participants will be tested on their abilities to create innovative dishes, craft business plans, and present their ideas in front of a panel of expert judges. The top teams will earn scholarships and the chance to compete at the national level, providing them with an opportunity for even greater success and recognition.

This competition is more than just a way to win awards and receive recognition; it's also a great learning experience. Participants gain valuable industry knowledge as they work together to create their dishes and business plans, as well as the opportunity to network with chefs and industry professionals. With these skills, participants can go on to pursue successful careers in hospitality and culinary arts.

Registration closes October 31, 2023 or upon a category reaching its maximum registrant capacity. 


New for 2024: Two Culinary Tracks

We are excited to introduce a change to the Texas ProStart Invitational. Starting in 2024, High schools have the option to register a culinary arts team in either the “Nationals Track” or “Lone Star State Track” additionally a school may have a team (comprised of different students) in both tracks. This allows for flexibility and expands participation in various culinary events while ensuring the school's representation in the culinary arts field. 

The 2024 Culinary Competition Tracks: Upon registration, educators will have the opportunity to select their preferred track, with only the ProStart coordinator being aware of the chosen track for each participating school. It is important to note that the rules, judging criteria, and timing will remain consistent across both tracks. We believe these enhancements will further elevate the overall experience and ensure a fair competition for all participants. 

  • The Nationals Track offers an exhilarating and prestigious pathway tailored for aspiring culinary students to become professional chefs. This track serves as a platform to showcase their culinary talents, leadership abilities, and capacity to thrive under pressure, while simultaneously preparing them for a promising career in the culinary industry. The top three (3) placing teams will be awarded scholarships and prizes, with the winner of this division moving on to compete at the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, MD. 
  • The Lone Star State Track offers an inclusive and competitive experience designed for culinary students who are eager to explore their passion for cooking. This track fosters creativity, learning, and camaraderie. The top three (3) teams in this division will also be awarded scholarships and prizes as recognition for their outstanding performance. 

The 2024 Management Competition will continue with a single track, culminating in the winning team advancing to the National ProStart Invitational.


In addition to the team competitions, the Texas ProStart Invitational offers individual students the opportunity to compete and show-off their culinary skills in a variety of disciplines. Texas ProStart Individual Competitions are open to students not competing on either culinary or management teams at the 2024 competition. 2024 individual competition rules are forthcoming and will be made available in the coming weeks.


  • Amuse Me  
    Prepare your finest single-bite appetizer to impress the judging panel. In this category, the balance of presentation and flavor carries equal significance when evaluating your entry.
  • Breaktime
    Create a healthy and flavorful study break snack using only 5 ingredients.
  • Couscous 
    Create a substitute for the traditional side dish by crafting a unique creation with couscous as the star ingredient. Your inventive take on this versatile grain will be the focus of evaluation in this contest category.
  • Knife Skills
    Show off your culinary finesse by demonstrating expert knife skills and artistic garnishing to transform ordinary dishes into an extraordinary creation.
  • Spiced, presented by Texas Beef Council 
    Develop a unique spice blend to season and cook a cut of beef chosen by the Texas Beef Council. Showcase your creativity by designing a custom label and packaging for your blend to impress the judges.
  • "Stuffed" Build a Better Burrito, Presented by Freebirds World Burrito 
    Use your imagination to create a burrito using anything but a tortilla.



  • Cake Decorating - Pow, Bang! 
    Bring beloved characters and dynamic visuals to life by decorating a cake inspired by the world of comics and cartoons
  • Skill & Technique
    Contestants must showcase their skills with the following cake decorating techniques:
  1. Sugar Flowers
  2. Cake Boarder Rosettes
  3. Spatula Icing
  4. Basketweave
  5. Cake Writing - "Texas Restaurant Foundation"


  • Design on the Fly, Presented by Premier Event Rentals
    Unleash your spontaneous creativity as you craft unique and imaginative designs on the fly using a curated selection of materials from Premier Event Rentals in this dynamic competition.
  •  Maximalist
    Let your imagination run wild and create a visually stunning table scape that embodies the essence of maximalism, blending lavish aesthetics, bold colors, and extravagant decor.


Hotel rooms for the competition can be booked now at the Hilton Waco. Keep in mind that the discounted room block is limited and on a first-reserved, first-available basis. No payment is due at the time of reservation.  The deadline to reserve your room(s) is February 6, 2024.

Book Hotel

Where to Dine in Waco    


Waco Convention Center Parking Information

Attendees are asked to park in Heritage Square, a city block of surface parking located at 3rd and Austin, and bounded by 4th St. and Washington Ave. Trailers and buses should be parked on this lot as well. Trailers, buses, and vehicles taking more than one parking spot are not allowed in the parking lot facing Franklin Avenue. Download Waco Downtown Parking Map


Watch the 2023 TPSI Recap Video