ProStart NewsBites February 2017

FRLAEF Pineapple Awards — LAST WEEK to Nominate or Be Nominated!

The Pineapple Award recognizes one ProStart teacher as having demonstrated a commitment to the ProStart program through dedication to ProStart students. This ProStart Teacher of the Year will receive the Pineapple Award during the Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.
CLICK HERE for the online Pineapple Award nomination form.

Anyone may nominate a ProStart teacher they feel deserves this recognition using the following criteria (forward the nomination link to your principal, your fellow teachers, your business partners so they can nominate YOU!):

  • ProStart Teacher must have taught the ProStart curriculum at least one year

NOMINATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 3, 2017

Awards Dinner & Hospitality Excellence Registration–LAST WEEK!

The Salute to Excellence Awards will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 6:30 PM at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. The awards dinner will recognize all Pineapple Award, FRLAEF Scholarship and Hospitality Excellence Awards recipients as well as ProStart Competition winners. All ProStart instructors, ProStart competition team members, and award recipients receive one complimentary ticket to the dinner.

The purpose of the Hospitality Excellence Award is to give you an opportunity to recognize your top ProStart student. The student you select will be presented a certificate during the Salute to Excellence Awards dinner. You may select your Hospitality Excellence Award recipient using your own criteria. However, the selected student should be pursuing a culinary or hospitality career.

CLICK HERE  to register for the Salute to Excellence Awards dinner and/or to submit a student’s name for the Hospitality Excellence Award. This is a two-fold entry form. The first section is an RSVP to the dinner itself. In the second section, you can nominate your top ProStart student for the Hospitality Excellence Award.

The deadline to register for the awards dinner and to recognize a student is this Friday, February 3, 2017.

Additional tickets may be purchased in advance for $60. No tickets will be sold on site this year. To purchase additional tickets with a credit card CLICK HERE.

Tickets may also be purchased by check made payable to FRLAEF and mailed to:

PO Box 1779
Tallahassee, FL  32302

All ticket payments must be received by the FRLAEF no later than February 10, 2017 to guarantee a seat at the Salute Awards dinner.

FRLAEF Scholarship — Winners Notified by Friday

We received over 100 FRLAEF Scholarship applicants! Winners will be notified by the end of the week. Scholarships will be presented at the Salute to Excellence Awards dinner on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. Scholarship winners do not have to be present to receive their award.

Guests Welcome at ProStart Competition!

The ProStart Competition takes place Friday, March 3 — Saturday March 4, 2017 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. The competition is open to the public. There is no fee to attend and no ticket required.

If you have been considering entering the competition, we invite you to observe what is going on and bring some students with you! This is a great way to see what the competition is about and get your students prepared for next year.

Here is the 2016 ProStart Competition Video:

NRAEF Scholarship Application Open

The online National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Undergraduate Scholarship Application is now open. The site will remain open until April 1, 2017.  

Three tips for NRAEF undergraduate scholarship applicants:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute!  Undergraduate scholarship applications opened on January 15 and close on April 1.  Give yourself enough time before the deadline to write better essays and gather all the required documentation.  The scholarship application doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting.
  2. Make sure you provide an email address you check often!  All communication regarding your scholarship application will be via email and it’s the applicant’s responsibility to provide a working email address that is checked frequently.  Don’t provide an email address you won’t be using or have access to after the summer or you may miss important information.
  3. Scope out and give a heads up to potential recommenders!  You’ll need at least two letters of recommendation with your scholarship application. Letters of recommendation are requested through the online scholarship application. Make sure to let your recommenders know beforehand that you intend to ask for their recommendations so they know to look out for the system email (that’s how they provide the letters) and help ensure that they submit on time.
CLICK HERE for the application page.

Calling Florida’s Top Student Chefs–Deadline This Week!

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam encourages innovative chefs in 9th through 12th grades to enter the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ “Fresh From Florida” Student Chef Cook-Off. Students can submit original recipes featuring locally grown products for the chance to have their meal served in school cafeterias. The deadline to enter is Thurs., Feb. 2, 2017. For rules and to submit an entry, visit

“A healthy diet is the foundation for academic success, and our goal is to get students excited about incorporating Florida’s fresh produce into everyday meals,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

Entry requirements include:

  • Applicants must be a Florida student in 9th through 12th grade.
  • The recipe must be original and submitted with a photo.
  • The recipe must contain one fresh fruit or fresh vegetable grown in Florida.
  • The recipe must have clear directions and be prepared in 75 minutes or less.
  • The recipe must promote good nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Students first submit their recipes and pictures to be judged on nutrition, presentation/ appeal and originality. Finalists will be chosen to compete in five regional cook-offs, which will be held in March and April 2017 in the following counties: Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough and Indian River.

The first place winners of each region will continue to the statewide cook-off at the Florida School Nutrition Association annual conference in Orlando on Sat., Apr. 22, 2017. The “Fresh From Florida” Student Chef Cook-Off champion will be invited to serve with a professional chef at one of the department’s future events.

For more information on the “Fresh From Florida” Student Chef Cook-Off and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

ProStart Marketing Piece Availableprostart-rack-card-p2prostart-rack-card-p1

The FRLAEF has developed a marketing piece for ProStart that is designed to explain ProStart to parents and potential classroom mentors or sponsors.

These pieces are perfect for an Open House for your program or showcasing your program in the community.  If you are interested, please let us know and we can send them to you. If possible, please give us two weeks lead time.

The piece is pictured at right. Clicking on the image opens it full size.

ProStart Video  & Curriculum Resources

CLICK HERE to see almost 40 ProStart Videos. The videos range from making Mother Sauces to how to fabricate a sheep!

CLICK HERE for a dropbox full of ProStart curriculum resources from a former ProStart teacher in North Carolina.

Interesting Links in the Food + Culinary World

Foodsafety Materials

Each Premier and Full ProStart program is eligible for free Foodsafety materials.  To ensure you get the materials you need, you must notify us.  Once we receive your ProStart Classification paperwork, you can order up to $350 of Foodsafety materials. Click here for the ServSafe price list. Email Amy Parker to place your order–you do not need to fill out the form. Requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

In case you missed it, CLICK HERE to see how FRLAEF has restructured Foodsafety Training material awards.

ProStart Scantrons

The FRLAEF will distribute over $25,000 worth of free ProStart Exam Scantrons to Premier and Full ProStart schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Once a school has turned in their ProStart Classification paperwork, email Amy Parker to let her know how many ProStart Exam Scantrons you need. Requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

ProStart Teacher Training Institute–Save the Date

The 20th Annual ProStart Teacher Training Institute will take place in June 18-23, 2017. The week-long training providesTTI 2016 background WHITE-min-1 Florida ProStart instructors with the knowledge necessary to teach the ProStart curriculum. Each day’s learning is built around topics covered in the ProStart curriculum.


All classes will be held at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) North Miami campus, 1701 NE 127th Street, North Miami, Florida, 33181.


The FRLAEF will cover the cost of all Florida ProStart instructors who will be teaching the ProStart curriculum during the 2017-2018 school year. Attendees will be responsible for their travel and some meals.


Online registration will begin Spring 2017.