ProStart NewsBites March 2018

18th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition Results!

$1 Million in Scholarships Awarded to Florida High School Students Participating in ProStart Culinary Team Competition

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 5, 2018) – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) is proud to congratulate the winners of the 18th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition which was held Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

A total of 50 schools participated in the competition with 15 schools winning top awards throughout the day’s events. More than $1 million in scholarships was distributed to the winning schools. All winners and participants are a part of 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 the state are enrolled in the program. The four main event competitions included: the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition, The Art Institutes Management Competition, the Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition, and the Waiters Relay Competition.

East Ridge High School in Clermont won first place in the overall competition. Tarpon Springs High School in Tarpon Springs took home second place in the overall competition, with John A Ferguson Senior High in Miami placing third.

“These talented students represent the future of Florida’s hospitality industry and we are extremely proud to help support their education by awarding more than $1 million in scholarships. We are passionate about investing in these inspiring, young leaders of the trade and are thrilled to celebrate their incredible talents and pursuit of successful careers,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the FRLA.

Overall Competition Winners

1st Place:      East Ridge High School                 Instructors: Ken Pitts, Chris Dwyer

2nd Place:     Tarpon Springs High School         Instructors: Cathleen Ryan, Tony DeVincenzo, Vincent Pesce

3rd Place:      John A Ferguson Senior High       Instructors: Janett Toledo, Jorge Garcia, Jebel Cordoba

4th Place:      Northeast High School                   Instructors: Curtis Serata, John Beck

5th Place:      Leto High School                             Instructor: Debra Hladky

Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition Winners

Participating teams demonstrated their creative abilities during the competition through the preparation of a meal consisting of: starter (such as soup, salad or appetizer), protein (such as meat, fish or fowl), starch, vegetable, and dessert.

1st Place:      Leto High School                 Instructor: Debra Hladky

2nd Place:     Eastside High School         Instructors: Pam Bedford, Sarah Waters

3rd Place:      East Ridge High School     Instructors: Ken Pitts, Chris Dwyer

4th Place:      Tarpon Springs High           Instructors: Cathleen Ryan, Tony DeVincenzo, Vince Pesce

5th Place:      John A Ferguson Senior    Instructors: Janett Toledo, Jorge Garcia, Jebel Cordoba

The Art Institutes Management Competition Winners

Participating teams demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a business proposal for a new restaurant concept. The business proposal consisted of a defined restaurant concept, supporting menu, and supporting marketing plan. Teams prepared a comprehensive written proposal, verbal presentation and visual display.

1st Place:      East Ridge High School     Instructors: Ken Pitts, Chris Dwyer

2nd Place:     Northeast High School       Instructors: Curtis Serata, John Beck

3rd Place:      John A Ferguson Senior    Instructors: Janett Toledo, Jorge Garcia, Jebel Cordoba

4th Place:      Holmes County High           Instructor: April Coe

5th Place:      Tarpon Springs High           Instructors: Cathleen Ryan, Tony DeVincenzo, Vince Pesce

Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition Winners

Participating teams demonstrated their creative ability during the competition through the preparation of an edible centerpiece consisting of fruits and vegetables. Contestants explained nutritional information, product availability, and preparation techniques.

1st Place:      Tarpon Springs High           Instructors: Cathleen Ryan, Tony DeVincenzo, Vince Pesce

2nd Place:     Estero High School             Instructor: Jeremy Jasper

3rd Place:      Eustis High School              Instructor: Nicole Austin

4th Place:      Northeast High School       Instructors: Curtis Serata, John Beck

5th Place:      Mainland High School        Instructors: Jason Kester, Michael Gillespie

Waiters Relay Competition Winners

Participating teams demonstrated their ability to duplicate a table setting while racing against the clock.

1st Place:      South Lake High School    Instructors: Candace Huxhold, John Thunberg

2nd Place:     Leon High School                Instructors: Christine Beam, Karen Stribling

3rd Place:      John A Ferguson Senior    Instructors: Janett Toledo, Jorge Garcia, Jebel Cordoba

4th Place:      St Lucie West Centennial  Instructors: Calvin Lewis, Christine Gedke-Balaschak

5th Place:      Lake Minneola High            Instructors: Nick Sandora, Lance Bowles

First-place teams from the management and culinary competitions will advance to the prestigious National ProStart Invitational, April 27-29, 2018, in Providence, Rhode Island.

ProStart Teacher of Year

The ProStart Teacher of the Year is Christy Rabich from Dixie Hollins High School in Pinellas County. 

Chef Rabich comes from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was raised in a family of seven.  Looking back she believes her love of culinary arts started when she was in the kitchen cooking with her bubba and watching Julia Child.  Her first paying job was in the kitchen at the age of 14.  Long before child labor laws.  She thought she never wanted to do anything else.

Seven years ago, Chef Rabich started the next journey in life when she became involved in the ProStart program at Dixie Hollins High School.  On her first day of this journey she couldn’t control the class enough to take roll.  Now the program is thriving to the point they added another instructor and most students complete four years of culinary

Chef Rabich was nominated for this award by ten individuals.   Her nominators range from members of her advisory committee to fellow teachers and even her high school’s principal.  The overall theme of the nominations was not just her enthusiasm for teaching but her personal dedication to her students that includes their emotional well-being.  Numerous nominators mentioned Chef Rabich’s long hours and personal expenditures.

FRLAEF Scholarships Awarded

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) awarded $52,000 during Florida’s Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner on Sunday, March 4, 2018. The Salute took place at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. Congratulations to the following students:

First Name: Last Name: High School Name:
Michael Adams Lecanto High School
Breanna Ahnert South Tech Academy
Matthew Arce John A. Ferguson Senior High
Brianna Arrington Fort Pierce Central High School
Skyla Bradley Lake Wales High School
Brianna Butler-Brown Martin County High School
Gabriel Cerease Lake Worth High School
Taylor Cobbler Gainesville High School
Jamie Cooney Forest Hill High School
Kaley Dawson South Lake High School
Sophia Dounaeva East Ridge High School
Elizabeth Exposito Hialeah Senior High
A’zhane Faulknor South Lake High School
Christopher Futch Terry Parker High School
Sierra Gustave Tarpon Springs High School
Deena Harry Tarpon Springs High School
Alexis Kaiser Tarpon Springs High School
Daisy Keene Dixie Hollins High School
Alyssa Kristen Lalata Osceola High School
Charlee Lutton Lake Wales High School
Megan MacDonald Eastside High School
John Maisonet Spruce Creek High School
Briana Michael Tarpon Springs High School
Brooke Miller Palm Beach Gardens High School
Sebastian Moline Martin County High School
Morgan Nissen Winter Haven High School
Juana Pascual Martin County High School
Erick Rivera St Lucie West Centennial High School
Branden Roetzel South Tech Academy
KC Solano Coral Springs High School
Kayla Thuman Martin County High School
Savanna Walker Coral Springs High School

Hospitality Excellence Awards

Forty-five ProStart students were recognized with a Hospitality Excellence award during the Salute to Excellence Awards dinner on Sunday, March 4, 2018. These awards are designed to give recognition to the top student in each Florida ProStarthigh school.  ProStart teachers nominated the following students to receive this prestigious honor.

Bartow High School Shazmine Windham
Bayside High School Luce Adhemar
Bethlehem High School Keegan Wells
Bowers/Whitley Career Center Symeon McLeon-Green
Colonial High School Sebastian Cook
Columbia High School Chloe Romine
Coral Gables Senior High Norlan Rivas
Coral Springs High School KC Solano
Cypress Creek High School Cristal Rivera
DeLand High School Betty Lou Lanagan
Dillard High School Tanaja Lee
Dixie Hollins High School Daisy Keene
East Ridge High School Sophia Dounaeva
Eastside High School Megan MacDonald
Estero High School Amy Hallifax
Eustis High School Analiesa Davis
Forest Hill High School Lisvi Gonzalez
Fort Pierce Central High Brandon Parks
Frank H Peterson Academy Desir’ee Lee
Hardee Senior High School Noah Herrera
Hialeah High School Elizabeth Exposito
Holmes County High School Rodlisha Robertson
John A Ferguson Senior Stephen de Jesus
JP Taravella High School Samuel Martinez
Lake Minneola High School Krystal Walker
Leon High School Ashley Mayo
Leto High School Manuel Parrado
Mainland High School Morrisa Locker
Marathon High School Britney Smollett
Martin County High School Brianna Butler-Brown
Nassau County Career Education Isaac Brown
Northeast High School Jordan Bearden
Nova High School Lauryn Laborn
Orange Tech–Mid FL Blake Hayes
Poinciana High School Chelsea Rivera
Port St Lucie High School Bryce Splain
Seabreeze High School Faith Whaley
South Lake High School Kaley Dawson
South Plantation High School T’arra Holgate
Spruce Creek High School Dezyre Wright
St Lucie West Centennial Rebecca O’Sullivan
Stoneman Douglas High School Alyssa Singh
Strawberry Crest High School Chase Zimmerman
Terry Parker High School Rebecca VanGorder
Winter Park High School Victoria Gresham

REGISTER NOW for ProStart Teacher Training Institute!

The 22nd Annual ProStart Teacher Training Institute will take place in June 17-22, 2018. 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 2018-2019 school year. Attendees will be responsible for their travel and some meals.


CLICK HERE to register. Registration closes May 4, 2018.

NRAEF Scholarship Application

The online National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Undergraduate Scholarship Application is open until April 1, 2018.  

Three tips for NRAEF undergraduate scholarship applicants:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute!  Undergraduate scholarship applications will open on January 15 and close on April 1st-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 they submit on time.
CLICK HERE for the application page.

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.

ServSafe 7th Edition Instructor Resources

As of this date, ServSafe is not offering the 7th ed. Instructor Resources for purchase.

If you are a registered ServSafe Dual Role Instructor/Proctor, you can access the Instructor Resources for free HERE.

There are two ways to become a Dual Role Instructor/Proctor:

  • Pass the INSTRUCTOR version of the ServSafe exam


  • If you took another version of the exam (English or Spanish), you have to wait 90 days after your exam, then you can apply for the Dual Role

If you took a ServSafe test with the FRLAEF at any point, you took the INSTRUCTOR version, so you are eligible to register as a DUAL Role Instructor/Proctor.


Hospitality Industry Internships

The Hospitality Industry Internship (HII) provides the opportunity for Florida ProStart & HTMP 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 from the FRLAEF.

To qualify for an HII, the instructor must teach the ProStart/HTMP curriculum during the 2017-2018 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 also 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.

Foundations Second Edition Now Available

The 2nd edition of Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts is now available for purchase. To learn more about the second edition, access select resources or to make a purchase, go to

The following resources are available for your reference:

o   Table of Contents with Learning Objectives for Level 1 and Level 2 can be downloaded here.

o   Dedicated site for Correlations:

o   Foundations 2E Overview PowerPoint

How to Order, Receive a Quote and Foundations 2nd edition. Pricelist

o   Orders can now be placed directly on

o   Quotes can be created online.

o   *If your organization is tax exempt, please provide your tax exempt ID form. Otherwise, tax will be charged at the rate consistent with the zip code of the shipping address.  

eBook Demo Request, Purchase Orders, and Exam Exchanges:

o   Submit Requests for demo eBook access keys or demos through

o   Purchase orders can be submitted to:

o   Request for exchanging 1st edition exams to 2nd edition exams should be sent via email with the Subject “Exam Exchange” to for processing.

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.

Complimentary ProStart Scantrons

The FRLAEF will distribute over $25,000 worth of free ProStart Exam Scantrons to Premier and Full ProStart schools during the 2017-2018 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.