The competition, divided into four specific industry disciplines - management, gourmet meal design, edible centerpieces and food service - tests the students’ overall knowledge of culinary arts. Forty top ProStart culinary arts programs in the state were invited to participate in the competition. ProStart, which began as a pilot in 1994/1995, currently has 215 participating schools.
Taravella's team participated in all four events and earned a top three finish in two of the competitions. The team placed first in the Keiser University edible centerpiece competition, where participating teams demonstrated their creative ability through the preparation of an edible centerpiece consisting of fruits and vegetables. They also finished third in the cracker barrel management competition, where teams demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and food service industry by developing a business proposal for a new restaurant concept.
As a result of their efforts, the students received $125,000 in scholarships for entry into postsecondary culinary arts programs.
The Florida ProStart program, founded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation was developed in response to the fast growth of the food service industry.