ProStart NewsBites March 2020

20th Annual ProStart Competition Results

The 20th Annual Florida ProStart Event resulted in $813,000 worth of scholarships

ORLANDO – On March 7 and 8, more than 400 culinary students, representing 50 Florida high schools, gathered at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando to compete in the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation’s (FRLAEF) 20th Annual ProStart Team Competitions. Throughout the weekend, students competed in categories such as Culinary, Edible Centerpieces, Management, and Waiter’s Relay.

“During the school year, students train in their respective crafts, eagerly prepping for the annual state competition,” says Laura Rumer, Director of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation. “During the competition, they were challenged to present their restaurant skills by creating detailed culinary dishes, crafting food displays made of fruit, showcasing restaurant proposals, and setting tables in a fun game of Waiter’s Relay. The students were rock stars and brought high quality work to the table, literally.”

The last event of the Florida competition was the Salute to Excellence dinner, where students were awarded for their respective competition categories. High school students also received scholarships from the FRLAEF and event sponsors, Johnson & Wales University, Keiser University, Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Institute of Virginia and Sullivan University. Together, $813,000 worth of scholarships were awarded.



1st Place – J.P. Taravella High School
2nd Place – East Ridge High School
3rd Place – Hialeah Gardens Senior High

4th Place – John A Ferguson Senior High
5th Place – TIE — Eastside High School & Strawberry Crest High School

Johnson & Wales University CULINARY COMPETITION:

1st Place Hialeah Gardens High School

2nd Place – East Ridge High School
3rd Place – J.P. Taravella High School
4th Place – Strawberry Crest High School
5th Place – John A Ferguson Senior High



1st Place – East Ridge High School
2nd Place – Eastside High School
3rd Place – Northeast High School

4th Place – Strawberry Crest High School
5th Place –  Martin County High School



1st Place – J.P. Taravella High School
2nd Place – Tarpon Springs High School
3rd Place – John A Ferguson Senior High
4th Place – Hialeah Gardens Senior High
5th Place – South Lake High School



1st Place – J.P. Taravella High School
2nd Place – Coral Gables Senior High
3rd Place – Chipley High School
4th Place – John A Ferguson Senior High
5th Place – Ridgeview High School







ProStart Teacher Training Institute–Registration Begins NOW!

The 24th Annual ProStart Teacher Training Institute will take place in June 21-26, 2020. The week-long training provides 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 2020-2021 school year. Attendees will be responsible for their travel and some meals.


CLICK HERE to register and for more event details.


ProStart Teacher of the Year

The ProStart Teacher of the Year is Carl Stanton from Marathon High School in the Florida Keys. Mr. Stanton was recognized during the Salute to Excellence Awards on Sunday, March 8 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

Carl knew at a young age that being a Chef and owning a restaurant was something he wanted to do long before he knew about job security. He loved helping his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. At TC Williams High School, he took a culinary arts class where the instructor, Chef John Dorney, helped guide him on his chef journey. After high school, he started culinary school and an apprenticeship with The American Culinary Federation (ACF).

Carl has worked for decades in the hospitality industry covering areas from casual to fine dining, bakeries to catering, hotels and ownership. As he rose through the ranks and became an Executive Chef, teaching, training and developing staff was a big part of his job.

Chance and opportunity met eight years ago in The Florida Keys when Carl was offered a part-time position at Marathon High School as a culinary instructor for their ProStart Program. He saw this as a way of giving back to the industry that I he dedicated most of his life to and hoped to become an inspiration to others like his mentors were to him. He had a chance to teach the next generation of culinarians while they are young and green!

Carl was nominated for Teacher of the Year by 18 people including administrators and students. Congratulations!

$180,000 in FRLAEF Scholarships Awarded

The FRLAEF awarded almost 70 scholarships to ProStart and HTMP students this year. Scholarship ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 and were presented during the Salute to Excellence Awards dinner on Sunday, March 8 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.


This scholarship is contingent upon the FRLAEF receiving verification the student has been admitted and enrolled in a post-secondary institution.  This is confirmed when the student emails the FRLAEF the following:

  • Post-Secondary Student ID Number
  • Financial Aid mailing address of their post-secondary school 

The FRLAEF must receive this required documentation no later than June 12, 2020. The FRLAEF scholarship is a one-time, non-renewable award.

ServSafe Proctor Update

  • Updated Proctor to Examinee Ratio for Online Exams – ServSafe has made a change to the policy regarding the number of assistant exam proctors required depending on the number of examinees taking the online exams. From now on, if there are more than 15 examinees present, an assistant exam proctor is required to be present, with an extra assistant exam proctor required for every additional 15 examinees. The proctor to examinee ratio for Print exams continues to be 35 examinees per proctor.

NRAEF Scholarship Application Available

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) scholarship application is now open for your seniors. Scholarship amounts range from $2,500-$10,000 each.

CLICK HERE for the application.


UCF Rosen News

UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Camp Pineapple will be June 21-26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. It’s a week-long residential career exploration summer camp. Each day includes site visits to various industry partners to learn more about the company and careers. Registration is now open and only 16 spots are still available. Visit the Camp Pineapple website for more details and to register now.

UCF Rosen College is excited to announce a new partnership with Darden’s LongHorn Steakhouse and the launch of an exclusive pilot program for a progressive internship leading to a job offer, which includes managing a LongHorn Steakhouse located in the U.S.

This exciting program is called: “Start Your Restaurant Career in College with LongHorn Steakhouse”.  This exclusive partnership between the Restaurant Management program at UCF Rosen College and LongHorn Steakhouse will consist of a three-tiered progressive internship located in Orlando while students attend their final semesters in college.  The first semester will include back-of-the-house (kitchen operations) training; the second semester will move to the front-of-the-house (dining room operations) training; and the third and final semester will consist of a modified ‘manager in training’ program proprietary to LongHorn Steakhouse. Upon successful completion, interns will select a location outside of Orlando, and will be given the keys to run their own LongHorn Steakhouse!  They will receive additional support and a 4-week follow-up management training at Darden Corporate after they settle in to their new locations.

We are very proud and honored to enter into this partnership with LongHorn Steakhouse, with over 530 locations nationwide, and growing. The opportunity to offer Restaurant & Foodservice Management majors a direct pipeline into the nation’s largest and top-performing casual restaurant brand will further enhance the offerings of our Restaurant Management program, while serving our industry partner, LongHorn Steakhouse, with future leaders in this sector.

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.

To qualify for an HII, the instructor must teach the ProStart/HTMP curriculum during the 2019-2020 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.

Path to Power Series

The Path to Power series profiles executives in the hospitality industry and the career path they took to get there.  These articles were compiled for Florida’s ProStart and HTMP students.

Article #1

Article #2

Article #3

Article #4

Article #5

Article #6

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 2019-2020 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.

Thanks to our sponsors!