ProStart NewsBites December 2023






Scholarship Application Now Open

The FRLAEF will award at least $50,000 in scholarships during the 2023-2024 school year. Each scholarship awarded will be in the amount of $2,000 and will be a one-time, non-renewable scholarship.

To be eligible for this scholarship the applicant must:

• Be a graduating senior who will begin post-secondary education in 2024
• Be entering a culinary or hospitality post-secondary program
• Return a copy of their OFFICIAL high school transcript to FRLAEF by application deadline

APPLICATION TIMELINE  The application is now open via link below. The application deadline is Friday, February 2, 2024. For an application to be considered, the FRLAEF must receive the completed online application and a copy of the student’s transcript by February 2, 2024. Scholarships will be awarded during the Salute to Excellence Awards on March 2, 2024. Awardees do not have to be present to win.

COMPLETE THE FULL APPLICATION!  For the last five years, each applicant that has returned a completed application has RECEIVED a scholarship. It only takes a few minutes, so please encourage your students to complete the process.


Two ProStart Teachers of the Year!

Congratulations to Christine Beam, ProStart teacher at Leon High School in Tallahassee, for being awarded Teacher of the Year!

Christine is pictured left at the 2016 Teacher Training Institute in Miami.



Mae Lee Gilroy was awarded Teacher of the Year at Sebring High School in Highlands County!

Mae Lee is pictured left at the November Regional Workshop at Rosen where her students won First Place in the Taco Battle.




Universal Orlando Handheld Food Competition–Top 3 Selected!

On December 5, 2023, Universal Orlando, UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality and the FRLA Educational Foundation hosted the second round of the Universal Orlando Handheld Competition.  Ten teams advanced from the first round to the second round with all ten teams competing at the December event.  The third and final round of competition will take place on February 5.  Prior to the final round, Universal Orlando chefs will travel to each school to work with the students on their handheld item.  At the end of the day, Keystone Heights High School, Miami Lakes Education Center and Ridgeview High School had advanced to the third and final round of competition.

Congratulations to Deltona High, Fernandina Beach High, Florida High, Lake Region High, Miami Central High, Pepin Academies and Winter Haven High for competing in the top ten.

UCF Rosen News

The Top-Ranked Hospitality College in the Country is hosting a Rosen College Open House for prospective students on Friday, February 16, 2024. Students and their families are invited to visit campus to learn more about the six undergraduate degrees that include Entertainment Management, Event Management, Hospitality Management, Lifestyle Community Management, Lodging and Restaurant Management and Theme Park and Attraction Management. Campus tours, class experiences and the opportunity to learn more about campus life and students support services will take place throughout the day. Space is limited and reservations are strongly encouraged. Students should register at

2024 Food Trends

Professional chefs predict the hottest food and menu trends for the coming year. This year’s What’s Hot Culinary Forecast draws on the expertise of more than 1,500 culinary professionals who were asked to rank 120 items in 7 categories:

  • Dishes
  • Ingredients
  • Flavors
  • Condiments
  • Beverages
  • Alcohol Beverages
  • Macro Trends

Some of the findings: Consumers want to sample—and share through social media—new foods and flavors from other regions, both domestic and international but in a form that’s recognizable, comforting and, often, communal. Soups & stews, grilled cheeses, global wings and international BBQ top this year’s trends list, along with integrating social media into menu marketing. Beverages that boost energy and health are on trend, while botanical cocktails star at the bar.

The What’s Hot Culinary Forecast presents the top 10 Hot Trends overall, the top trends in each category, trends the pros see as emerging in each category and macro trends shaping menus, operations and marketing.

CLICK HERE for the pdf.

Get Social With Us!

With the 2023-2024 school year underway, FRLA would love to highlight our participating ProStart programs and your creative side. We know how much fun your learning experience is and want to show that off, encouraging others to join in and eventually, hopefully, join Florida’s hospitality industry! Here are a few tips and suggestions for you, and don’t forget, whenever you post, tag @frlanews and we can share your post as well. Keep an eye out for future updates on ProStart social media competitions too!📱


Be creative with your content. Here are a few fun possible content ideas:

  • Come with us to class! (a video montage of a fun activity during class)
  • POV: You’re in high school and want to be a culinary student! (or You’re in high school and want to go into hospitality!) over a video collage of footage from the class
  • Challenge others to join ProStart …The top 3 reasons you should join ProStart…with fun footage or text/caption over photo/video from students.
  • Hashtag challenge – create a fun hashtag
  • Take someone through a full recipe, or other task

Most importantly, have fun and tag @FRLAnews!

Hospitality Industry Internships

The Hospitality Industry Internship (HII) provides the opportunity for Florida ProStart & HTM instructors to work in a foodservice/lodging establishment for at least 40 hours. Once the required paperwork has been processed, the participant will receive a personal check for $600.

To qualify for an HII, the instructor must teach the ProStart, HTM, or HTMP curriculum during the 2023-2024 school year. If you are already employed at a restaurant or hotel, you MAY NOT use that site for your internship. The restaurant/hotel must be a new work experience for you, not somewhere you have worked before or used as an HII internship location.

The applicant must secure a position at a foodservice or lodging facility where a minimum of 40 hours of hands-on experience is guaranteed. The host location may pay the recipient but is not required to do so.

The FRLAEF will award 11 HII’s this school year on a first-come, first-served basis. So apply NOW! Work experience may begin once the applicant receives an award notification from the FRLAEF.


Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner

The Salute to Excellence Awards will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. The awards dinner will recognize all ProStart Competition, Pineapple Award, Scholarship recipients and Hospitality Excellence Awardees.

ProStart instructors will have the opportunity to recognize one student during the awards dinner with a Hospitality Excellence Award. These students will be called on stage during the awards dinner and recognized with a certificate.

All ProStart instructors may receive a complimentary ticket to the awards dinner. Hospitality Excellence Award students receive two complimentary tickets, one for them and one for a guest.

Registration will begin in January 2024.

Complimentary Foodsafety Materials (ServSafe and/or SafeStaff)

Each Premier and Full ProStart program is eligible for free ServSafe or SafeStaff materials.  Once we receive your ProStart Classification paperwork (i.e.. Premier or Full), you can order up to $350 of complimentary ServSafe/SafeStaff materials through a link we will send you.

Complimentary ServSuccess Materials

ServSuccess is a stackable foodservice industry credential. The entry level certification is Certified Restaurant Professional (CRP). Individuals must have 400 hours of industry experience along with the ServSafe exam to be eligible to sit for the CRP. No training is required but five modules are offered.

If you would like to take the courses and/or the exam, email Amy Parker to let her know and she will get you signed up for free!

The link below will provide you with additional information on CRP.

ProStart Teacher Training 

The FRLAEF will conduct two ProStart Teacher Training events during summer 2024. Training will be held at the Keiser University Sarasota campus and at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality in Orlando. Both events will begin on Tuesday evening and conclude at Friday lunch.


The FRLAEF will cover the cost of all Florida ProStart instructors who will be teaching the ProStart curriculum during the 2024-2025 school year. Attendees will be responsible for their travel and some meals.


Online registration will begin Spring 2024.