70 High School Students to Compete in 2014 New Jersey ProStart Competition on Tuesday, Jan. 14th

"BRAVO TV: TOP CHEF" FINALIST ARIANE DUARTE TO BE NEW JUDGE

TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Poultry fabrication, molecular gastronomy technology or restaurant location to population demographics are just a few of the assorted categories competitors will be judged on at the 2014 New Jersey ProStart Competition this Tuesday, January, 14th in Asbury Park, NJ at the Berkeley Carteret Hotel. 

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140109/MN43369)

Approximately 70 high school students from Essex, Mercer, Passaic, Atlantic and Bergen Counties will converge to compete to win the Culinary or Management categories and advance to the national competition in Minneapolis, MN.  Many will also receive college scholarship offers upon completion from Monroe College, Johnson & Wales University, Le Cordon Bleu and Sullivan University to name a few.

New to this year's competition is celebrity chef, Ariane Duarte as a competition judge.  Chef Duarte joins 19 other industry professionals ranging from restaurant owners and local chefs to executives in the foodservice industry. She will also function as a motivational guest speaker at the event.

"We are excited to watch this amazing competition grow, especially with the addition of Mercer County this year," said Daniel Cannizzo, president of the New Jersey Restaurant Educational Foundation. "I have no doubt that having Chef Duarte as a judge will also help many of these kids realize that their dreams of becoming a success in this industry can come true," he added.

More importantly, the ProStart Program builds job skills in many students who are considered "at risk" youth.  These students have spent hours outside of their normal school days working on their skills to compete.  Once the two-year ProStart high school curriculum is complete, many will go onto immediate jobs in the foodservice industry or be offered college scholarships to further their education. The ProStart curriculum is now recognized by over 60 colleges and universities as a comprehensive program.  Three previous New Jersey participants are currently attending Cornell University.  Another team member is at Boston College and one other is attending New York University.  All got their start with the ProStart Program.

Last year, Bergen County students won the Management category with a fictional restaurant named "Infinitea," a quick casual restaurant that served fresh Asian American cuisine and specialty teas grown in their own rooftop greenhouse.  Passaic County won the culinary category of the state competition.  Both competed in the Prostart National Invitational with the Bergen placing third over 48 other competitors.  Passaic placed 17th in their category.   This year's National Competition will be held in Minneapolis, MS in early May. 

For more detailed information on the ProStart Competition or the NJREF, please contact Marilou Halvorsen, at the NJRA at mhalvorsen@njra.org or 732-779-4090. For more information on the New Jersey Restaurant Association, go to www.NJRA.org.

 

Media Contact: Marilou Halvorsen, New Jersey Restaurant Association, 732-779-4090, mhalvorsen@njra.org

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