ProStart NewsBites March 2022

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Hundreds of Florida High School Students Compete in 2022 Culinary Competition

The 21st Annual Florida ProStart Event resulted in $1,000,000 worth of scholarships 

ORLANDO – On March 5 and 6, more than 300 culinary students, representing 38 Florida high schools, gathered at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando to compete in the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation’s (FRLAEF) 21st Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competitions. Throughout the weekend, students competed in categories such as Culinary, Edible Centerpiece, 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. “At 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 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 UCF Rosen College of Hospitality. Together, $1,000,000 worth of scholarships were awarded.


1st Place – Strawberry Crest High School

2nd – Wekiva High School

3rd Place – JP Taravella High School

4th Place – Steinbrenner High School

5th Place – Hialeah High School


1st Place – Strawberry Crest High School

Instructor:        Paul Bonanno

Students:          Madison Jones, Jenna Mayo, Julian Alvarado, Eryhka Allbritton, Abigail Hemphill

2nd Place – Martin County High School

Instructor:         Shaun Southwick

Students:          Lily Tax, Paige Williams, Sophia Poirier, Georgia Poirier, Dominic Padovano

3rd Place – JP Taravella High School

Instructor:        Scott Goodman

Students:          Lexi Gonzalez, Jordan Edwy, Gabriela Franco, Eric Lin 

4th Place – John A. Ferguson High School

Instructors:       Janett Toledo, Jorge Garcia and Jebel Cordoba

Students:          Julio Gonzalez, Kayla Mejia, Andres Ramirez, Briana Font, Piero Callirgos

5th Place – Bethlehem High School

Instructor:        Chelsea Herndon

Students:          Avery Acreman, Zoie Miller, Jacob Tate, Jasmine Staggs, Journey Simpson


1st Place – Hialeah High School

Instructor:        Kathy Gonzalez

Students:          Vanessa Martinez, Maylet Perez, Jaden Sandoval, Kiana Yee 

2nd Place – Strawberry Crest High School

Instructor:        Paul Bonanno

Students:          Emily Hobbs, Katie Benson, Hayden Hott, Caitlyn Allman, Emma Langston

3rd Place – JP Taravella High School

Instructor:        Scott Goodman

Students:          Makayla Boudreau, Brian Huang 

4th Place – John A. Ferguson High School

Instructors:      Janett Toledo, Jorge Garcia, and Jebel Cordoba

Students:          Teresa Kinard, Genesis Romero, Kayla Quintero 

5th Place – Wekiva High School

Instructor:        Christopher Bates

Student:           Kaamla Bernard, Jonah Thompson, Emily Esposito


1st Place – Bayside High School

Instructors:       Stuart Gray, Christopher Cox

Students:          Isabel Nunez 

2nd Place – Wekiva High School

Instructor:       Christopher Bates

Student:           Judah Meyers

3rd Place – Steinbrenner High School

Instructor:       Cheryl White

Student:           Payton Miller 

4th Place – Sandalwood High School

Instructors:         Carolyn Sowell, Dionna Nelson

Students:          Emilee Hill 

5th Place – Stoneman Douglas High School

Instructosr:        Ashley Kurth, Nicholas Cochenour

Student:            Valerie Barcenas


1st Place – Wekiva High School

Instructor:        Christopher Bates

Students:          Danny Ha, Josean Vargas, Derrick Ramjit

2nd Place – Steinbrenner High School

Instructor:        Cheryl White

Students:          Miranda Drake, Isabella Goldstein, Sophie Lopez

3rd Place – St. Lucie West Centennial High School

Instructor:        Calvin Lewis

Students:          Joshua Curtis, Justin Meyer, Rodolpho Segura

4th Place – Northeast High School

Instructor:       Curtis Serata

Student:           Khalid Jackson, Jacob Williams, Curtis Johnson

5th Place – Durant High School

Instructors:       Guy Hermis, Ralph Underwood

Students:          Audrey Nelson, Kate Hodnett, Gabrielle Eaton

ProStart Culinary Team Competitions Pictures and Video

Salute Photobooth #1 Pictures–Open Air Booth

Salute Photobooth #2 Pictures–Closed Booth

ProStart Teacher of the Year

The ProStart Teacher of the Year is Susan Dougherty from Frank H. Peterson Academies in Jacksonville. Frank H Peterson Academies has been a Premier ProStart school under Chef Dougherty’s leadership since 2019.

Chef Dougherty has been a culinary instructor for nine years and has taught ProStart the entire time.  The students utilize their commercial facility and dining room by preparing staff lunches as well as catering events at the school and offsite.

She also ensures her students have opportunities outside of the classroom by organizing field trips, competing in competitions, and being involved in community service projects.

In addition to the extra curriculum activities, Chef Dougherty’s students have a 90% passing rate on their industry certification exams.



ProStart Teacher Training–Registration Open NOW!

There are two separate ProStart Teacher Training events this year.

June 14-17 — UCF Rosen College of Hospitality, Orlando
June 21-24 — Keiser University, Sarasota campus

Teachers may choose one training to attend which will be on a first-come, first-served basis through the online registration process.

Due to the nature of the host sites, the agendas will be different for each event. Detailed agendas will be available in May.

The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality event will cover several topics to include Soups and Salads, Appetizers and Advanced Plating Techniques.  The group will have offsite field trips at Universal Orlando and Darden’s Headquarters.  (Field trip locations may change due to unforeseen events.)

The ProStart Teacher Training at Keiser University in Sarasota’s kitchen time will focus on Sustainability, International Favorites and Sweet Treats.  The group will also have the opportunity to tour Dakin Dairy Farms and Geier’s Sausage Kitchen.  (Tour locations may change due to unforeseen events.)


All attendees must be teaching the ProStart curriculum during the 2022-2023 school year.

Participants must adhere to all UCF Rosen College of Hospitality and Keiser University professional codes of sanitation and grooming. While in the kitchens, each participant must wear chef pants (no jeans) as well as non-skid, hard toe shoes.
The FRLAEF, along with its sponsors, covers the cost for all attendees. This includes instruction, lodging, chef coat and take-home educational materials. Most meals will be provided.  Accommodations for the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality event will be in the dorms while attendees for the Keiser University event will be in a local hotel (TBD) and will be single-occupancy. FRLAEF will cover the cost of the room nights.
Attendees are responsible for their own transportation to the event as well as to and from the campuses each day.



UCF Rosen College of Hospitality News

Spring might be a few weeks away on the calendar, but things are heating up at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality. UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Faculty and staff enjoyed serving as judges at the ProStart Culinary Team Competition last weekend.  We enjoyed seeing some of you there. UCF Rosen College of Hospitality was a title sponsor of the Management Competition and awarded scholarships to first, second, and third place winners in the Management Competition. The first place scholarship was $1000 renewable ($4000 in four years).  The second place scholarship was $750 renewable ($3000 in four years).  The third place scholarship was $500 renewable ($2000 in four years). In order to receive the award, students must be admitted to UCF Rosen College and satisfy certain GPA requirements.  The award is non-transferable.

The UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management is also excited about our upcoming Summer Teacher Training Institute June 14th-17th. We have a great schedule of activities on campus and with our industry partners.

Finally, UCF Rosen College of Hospitality is excited to announce that, once again, we will be hosting three ProStart Regional Workshops coming this fall in September, October and November.  More information will be coming very soon.

CAPE Update

As you know, the ProStart Certificate of Achievement (COA) was removed from DOE’s CAPE funding list at the end of last school year.    ServSafe remains on DOE’s CAPE funding list.  Historically, ProStart instructors favor the ServSafe exam over the ProStart COA which is evidence by the fact that 63 COA’s were awarded during the 2019-2020 school year while 4278 ServSafe exams were administered.

Our intention was to submit the new ServSuccess certification for the CAPE list when the application was available at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.  However, due to several factors DOE has not released the new CAPE application.  If the CAPE application is released, we will apply for the ServSuccess certification to be included.

For now, continue using the ServSafe certification as your CAPE industry certification.  As soon as another certification is available, we will let you know.

NRAEF Scholarship – Application Closes Next Week

The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) Scholarship application opened 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.

ProStart & ServSafe Login Update

Starting in mid-March, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) is preparing to implement an Identity and Access Management upgrade to all systems, including ProStart and ServSafe.

What does this mean exactly?

  • All new accounts created will require a unique email address that the user must verify.
  • NRAEF will no longer allow the use of shared email addresses or multiple accounts using the same email address for a single individual.
  • Existing accounts utilizing shared or duplicated email addresses will be prompted to provide a unique email address when logging in for the first time.
  • All accounts will also need to use a unique phone number.

When will this change occur? March 13

When should students and educators log in to to verify they have unique email address associated with their username? As soon as the upgrade is complete on March 13th. Please do NOT to wait until it’s exam season to ensure your account is up to date.

Will people with multiple accounts be notified in advance of March 13th? Yes! Customer Care and the Textbooks team started contacting people Tuesday, February 8th to let them know this new process is going to be implemented and to be prepared for March. There will be reminders leading up to the March 13th date as well.

I have questions!  has additional information.

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 2021-2022 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.

Complimentary Copies of the Business Side of Restaurants

The Business Side of Restaurants was written by former Georgia Restaurant Association Restaurateur of the Year, Cliff Bramble.  Mr. Bramble has over 40 years of industry experience as well as founded one of the best restaurants in Georgia and one of the best steakhouses in America.  He also co-owned four multi-million-dollar restaurants.  During COVID closures, he had to close his restaurant which gave him the time to write a book about the industry.  This book covers everything from lease discussion and operating cost to human resources and the areas that can suck a business dry.  It also includes QR codes throughout the chapter which link to online webinars and videos relevant to the topic covered.  For more information go to or

Mr. Bramble is interested in providing complimentary eBooks to you and your students.  If you are interested, please reach out to him at  Include that you are a Florida ProStart school.

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 2021-2022 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). In the perfect world (which we do not live in), the COA will unlock the CRP. We do intend to submit the CRP for DOE’s 2022-2023 CAPE list. Individuals must have 400 hours of industry experience and be SafeStaff foodhandler certified 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.

Congratulations to Emmanuelle Suarez, ProStart teacher at Lake Worth High School, and Kim Westrom, ProStart teacher at Port Charlotte High School for being the first Florida ProStart teachers to earn their CRP Certification!