ProStart NewsBites February 2023

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  • FRLAEF Scholarship application due 2/3
  • Competition paperwork due 2/3
  • Pineapple Award nominations due 2/3

FRLAEF Scholarship Application CLOSES ON FRIDAY!

The FRLAEF has approximately $60,000 in scholarship money to award and the application is open now.

The average scholarship amount awarded will be $2,000.

In order to be eligible for this scholarship the applicant must:

• Be a graduating senior who will begin post-secondary education in 2023
• Be entering a culinary or hospitality post-secondary program
• Return a copy of their OFFICIAL high school transcript to FRLAEF by application deadline

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 3, 2023

Applicants notified award status by: February 10, 2023

CLICK HERE to apply.

Nominate Someone NOW for the 2023 Pineapple Award!

The FRLAEF Pineapple Award recognizes one ProStart teacher as having demonstrated a commitment to the ProStart program through dedication to ProStart students. Forward the nomination link to your principal, your fellow teachers, your business partners so they can nominate YOU!

Anyone may nominate a ProStart teacher they feel deserves this recognition using the following criteria:

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


ProStart Competition Teams: Paperwork due Friday

For those schools selected to compete in the 2023 ProStart Competitions–your paperwork is due no later than February 3, 2023. This paperwork includes the online School Entry Form, Participant Waivers for each student, and proof that each student is a junior or senior.

Paperwork was emailed to each teacher individually in October. Please let us know if we need to resend to you.



Universal Orlando Handheld Competition

Round Two Results

Congratulations to the following schools who placed in the top three during the second round of the Universal Orlando Handheld Competition. On January 24, the top 11 teams competed for a chance to move on to Round Three. The top three teams will compete on March 7.

Item School
Shrimp Reina Pepiada Puffs Lake Region High School
Elote Corn Dog Miami Lakes Educational Center
Minion Madness Chicken/Plantain Sandwich Winter Park High School

Orange County Competition Results

The Orange County Competition took place January 13 in Orlando. More than 160 students competed in various culinary events ranging from gourmet meal, gourmet dessert, knife skills, edible centerpiece, waiters relay, as well as industry-related challenges and demos.

2023 Culinary Competition Winners 

Edible Centerpiece
1st Place          OTC South       Andrea Quintero

2nd Place        Wekiva            Aiden Keesey

3rd Place         Wekiva            Izabella Ramos-Ewing

Knife Skills  

1st Place          Winter Park                 Murry Critcher

2nd Place        OTC – West Orange     Sofia Villegas

3rd Place         OTC – West Orange     Esteban Martinez Hernandez

Waiters Relay 

1st Place          OTC – Lake Buena Vista           Abigail Rivera, Lucas Castello, Sagan Giardino

2nd Place        Winter Park                              Carson Salmons, Daniel Haberland, Kaley Stlicrup 

3rd Place         Wekiva                                      Jackie Menell, Lena Jones, Salienca Noel 

Gourmet Dessert High School Division
1st Place          Wekiva                        Nicholas Tindall, Robert Davidson

2nd Place        Winter Park                 Haley Grissom, Natalia Gonzalez Robles

3rd Place         Olympia                      Morgan Schwartz, Regina Galleretta

Gourmet Dessert – Orange Technical College Division 

1st Place          West Orange   Julie Silva, Tabitha Perry

2nd Place        OTC – South     Jayda Terrera, Samuel Washington

3rd Place         Horizon           Ashley Renk, Reaghan Berthiaume

Gourmet Meal – High School Division 

1st Place          Wekiva            Joanna Damian, Sharda Chowbay, Trent Serwe

2nd Place        Winter Park     Aaliyah Ciancioso, Calin Jerry, Mikayla Pena

3rd Place         Wekiva            Apollo Gonzalez-Miguel, Arson Deville, Ema Thomas

Gourmet Meal – Orange Technical College Division 

1st Place          Lake Buena Vista         Evaluna Garcia, Taineth Santiago, Valeria Noguera

2nd Place        University                    Diego Talavera Candido, Ezekiel Paniza, Lucas Swinderman

3rd Place         West Orange               Ariana Martinez Rodriguez, Ellie Macalintal, William Mazzoni

ProStart PreLim (Following ProStart Culinary Competition Rules)

1st Place          Wekiva
Erick Hendrickson, Greta Torres, Josephine Russo, Nicholas Eberle, Travis Grider

2nd Place        Winter Park
Ada Parra, Elsa Xia, Johnathan Gonzalez, Madison Bryant, Maria Santana

3rd Place         OTC Cypress Creek
Astrid Obis, Denisse Hernandez, Luis Checo, Maria Ferrer Osorio

Spice Challenge 

1st Place          OTC Horizon                Caleb Nellans

2nd Place        Wekiva                  Joanna Damian

3rd Place         OTC – Horizon             Gwendolyn Wirbe

Measurement Mastermind Challenge 

1st Place           OTC – Lake Buena Vista          Sagan Giardino, Lucas Castello

2nd Place          Olympia                                     Zahra Aamir

3rd Place          Olympia                                      Julisa Rosiclaire

Former ProStart Student Flies Through Culinary Coast Guard Training

Afeiyah Kamall, ProStart grad from Hollins High School in Pinellas County, participated in a pilot program for the Culinary Specialist Third Class (CS3) designation. Based on the requirements for her National Restaurant Association Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts Level 2 certificate, it was determined she met 96% of the performance requirements needed to graduate the apprentice technical school.

To validate her skills, CS3 Kamall completed a Capstone assessment. In Capstone, she prepared a four-course meal of 15 portions within 150 minutes. The staff noted her exceptional performance and time management. She then spent three weeks receiving on-the-job training working in our production galley, including supervising the senior class of CS students as Watch Captain and producing an average of 450 meals a day.

Based on her prior experience, she was able to complete her training and graduate in four weeks, instead of the normal 14 weeks.

Additionally, based on her experience, she was able to advance to a higher grade upon her graduation. The ability to fast track CS3 Kamall greatly improved the Coast Guard’s ability to support the operational fleet.

“Your program is an ideal match for the Coast Guard’s new training initiative. Students who graduate from your program, and earn a National Restaurant Association Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts Level 2 certificate, are eligible for this A School program and a $45,000 enlistment bonus. If a student has an Associate of Arts or Bachelor of Arts degree, they are eligible for a $50,000 enlistment bonus”, said CDR Travis Collier, the Training Officer.

If you are interested in learning more about Coast Guard culinary programs for your students, contact the Recruiter in Charge of the Coast Guard Recruiting Office in Tampa, Florida, Chief Everson,, who can provide you more details and potentially visit your school and talk to students.

NRAEF Scholarship Open Now Through March 15

The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) Scholarship application opens on January 15. Scholarships range between $2,500–$10,000.

Undergraduate Scholarship Timeline

  • January 15: Scholarship Application Opens
  • March 15: Application Closes
  • April – May: Scholarship Application Review
  • June: Scholarship Award Notifications
  • July – August: Scholarship Claiming and Payments
  • August 15: Deadline to Claim Scholarship

CLICK HERE for the scholarship page and more information.

AHLA Scholarship Application Available

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) offers two types of scholarships:

  • Self-nominated – open to all hospitality management students enrolled in a U.S. college or university
  • School-nominated – requires school affiliation with the AHLA Foundation

All hospitality students, regardless of where they attend school, have access to more than $500,000 in scholarships offered through the Foundation’s self-nominated scholarships:

This year, the Foundation will disburse $1 million through its nine hospitality management scholarship programs for students ranging from freshmen to graduate students. Some scholarships are reserved for current hotel employees or minorities. Others are open to full-time or part-time students. Award amounts range from $500 to $7,500.

Applicants must be enrolled in a hospitality-related degree-granted program at a US college or university. Qualifying majors include programs such as hotel/restaurant management, culinary arts, travel/tourism and hotel administration. Each scholarship has additional requirements as well, so be sure to read them all before deciding which ones to apply for.
CLICK HERE for the application. Application closes March 15. Scholarship checks are mailed over the summer.

Summer Employment Opportunity

Summer Camp Cooks, a Summer Camp Food Service Management, provides meals for thousands of Campers and Staff over the summer around the USA. They are looking to connect with organizations that would like to provide their members, students, or staff opportunities to work in a quantity cooking environment in the summertime in beautiful camp locations.

Website link:

Here is a website where Chefs can create a profile and see our jobs:

Contact Alex Lagios at (954) 607-2231 for more information.

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 2022-2023 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.

CLICK HERE to apply.

Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner

The Salute to Excellence Awards will take place on Sunday, March 5, 2023 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.

If you are not a competing team but would like to attend the Salute, please contact Amy Parker at

Complimentary Foodsafety Materials

Each Premier and Full ProStart program is eligible for free ServSafe or SafeStaff materials.  To ensure you get the materials you need, you must notify us of your needs.  Once we receive your ProStart Classification paperwork, you can order up to $350 of ServSafe/SafeStaff materials. Click here for the 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.

The FRLAEF will not send you foodsafety materials unless you request them.  Please do not forget to request the materials.

Complimentary ProStart Scantrons

The FRLAEF will distribute over $25,000 worth of free ProStart Exam Scantrons to Premier and Full ProStart schools during the 2022-2023 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.

Complimentary ServSuccess Materials

ServSuccess was introduced last year by the National Restaurant Association. It 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 2023. 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 2022-2023 school year. Attendees will be responsible for their travel and some meals.


Online registration will begin Spring 2023.