Hundreds of Florida High School Students Showcase Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Skills at Statewide Competition

(Orlando, Fla.) –The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) is proud to present the 2017 ProStart Culinary Team Competition. In its 17th year, the high-stakes competition features students from Florida’s ProStart program, a career technical education program where high school students learn from an industry-derived curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management skills.  More than 20,000 students from across Florida are enrolled in the program. The event is scheduled to take place Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

“This event showcases a roster of extremely talented students, celebrating their diligent efforts to develop and advance culinary and managing skills,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). “By bringing industry and the classroom together, Florida’s ProStart program fosters the future leaders of Florida’s hospitality trade. Educational programs that provide real-world opportunities for success continue to effectively inspire the pursuit of meaningful careers within the hospitality industry.”

During the event, 47 Florida ProStart teams will gather to compete in either the culinary arts or restaurant management divisions. Culinary teams will prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, without access to running water or electricity using only two butane burners, and management teams will present a business proposal for an original restaurant concept to a panel of industry judges. Two additional events include the Edible Centerpiece Competition in which students create centerpieces using only fruits and vegetables and the Waiters Relay event, where students race against the clock to set American, Russian and France table settings.

Students will compete for more than $800,000 in scholarships. First-place teams from the management and culinary competitions will advance to the prestigious National ProStart Invitational, April 28-30, 2017, in Charleston, South Carolina.

The FRLA Educational Foundation’s ProStart Competition
400 Florida High School Students from 47 Schools Scheduled to Compete

8:30 AM – 6:00 PM     Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM     Cracker Barrel Management Competition
9:15 AM – 3:00 PM     Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM     Education & Business Expo

6:30 AM – 3:00 PM     Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM     Education & Business Expo
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM   The Coca-Cola Company Waiters Relay Competition
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM     Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner at Rosen Plaza Hotel, Grand Ballroom

Rosen Plaza Hotel
9700 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

The media is invited to attend both days of competition and the awards ceremony. There will be an opportunity to film the events and interview the participants and judges. Please contact FRLA Press Secretary Erin Power at 850.224.2250 x255 or via email at to arrange. The complete list of winners will be posted on the FRLA website and distributed to media outlets following the awards ceremony.
Please visit for more information about the FRLAEF program, a list of participating high schools and the 2-day event program. Additionally, be sure to follow this event live on social media by searching for #FLProStart.