ProStart NewsBites November 2021

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NRAEF Data Collection Survey Ongoing

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) ProStart Data Collection is happening now. The survey is managed by NRAEF.

Once you complete the survey, the FRLAEF will send you an email to request $350 worth of free foodsafety materials. This is on a first-come, first served basis, so complete your NRAEF survey as soon as possible.  The FRLAEF will not send you foodsafety materials unless you request them.

We are also giving a $25 Amazon gift card to each school that completes the survey.  If you completed the survey prior to Friday, October 29th the Amazon gift card has been sent to you electronically. Survey closes in December.

Extreme ProStart Kitchen Makeover Winner!

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Extreme ProStart Kitchen Makeover: Hialeah High School! Congratulations to Kathy Gonzalez, ProStart teacher at Hialeah.

She will receive up to $50,000 to remodel her ProStart kitchen!



Mini Grants

The FRLAEF received over 150 Mini Grant applications. The Board met early October to determine the distribution of this year’s budget of $95,000. A big thank you to Ecolab who provided $15,000 of this year’s Mini Grant funding!

GRANT AWARD NOTIFICATION: Laura Rumer emailed all Mini Grant applicants on October 7 and 8 to let you know your award. If you did not receive an email from Laura (, please let us know. All grant monies should be spent no later than November 19, 2021.



UCF Rosen News

On October 19th UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management hosted 50 ProStart students and teachers for an exciting day of restaurant and culinary industry experiences.  The students got the opportunity to work in our state of the industry kitchens, while their teachers learned secrets of winning at the ProStart Culinary and Management competitions from UCF Rosen College’s own Chef Jay Judy.

Based on the successes of these Fall workshops, UCF Rosen College is hosting the first “Food & Beverage Industry Day” on November 9, 2021, in partnership with Florida ProStart, Valencia College, and selected OCPS high schools. Industry partners Universal Orlando, Darden Restaurants, and Rosen Hotels & Resorts will present current information about exciting career opportunities in the Restaurant and Food & Beverage industry. We look forward to piloting this event and making it a regular feature twice annually where we can invite more Florida high schools to participate. Watch for future invitations in your email.

ACF Educator of the Year

The American Culinary Foundation (ACF) has named Eastside High School chef Pamela Bedford and ProStart teacher its 2021 Educator of the Year. Bedford has worked at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Eastside for 14 years, serving as director for the last four.

Of the four finalists for the award, only Bedford worked in a high school setting. “It means the world to me to be recognized as the top chef educator in the nation,” Bedford said in a statement. “To compete at that level, against post-secondary educators, was so intimidating and really fun.”

To compete, Bedford travelled to the ACF national convention, held in Orlando last week, where she had to teach a 50-minute lesson. Instead of high schoolers as pupils, though, Bedford taught an auditorium of top chefs and educators.

The ACF describes the Educator of the Year as someone able “to help students define and develop their careers by using their skills and abilities to provide a strong foundation for their future success.”

According to an Alachua County Public Schools press release, Bedford fits these qualifications, guiding hundreds of students to win awards, gain certifications and find jobs.

And those students returned the encouragement Bedford gave them while she was competing.

“My students compete a lot; I train them to do it,” Bedford said. “I encourage them, coach them, and hype them up, and they did the exact same thing for me. It made me fight for it even harder. I could not let them down.”

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.

ACF Webinars

ChefsForum: “The State of the Industry & Path Forward”

12/9 at 2pm ET

In Fall 2021 the James Beard Foundation conducted a “Food & Beverage Industry Benchmark Study” to better understand career paths of foodservice industry employers and employees in the United States and identify the challenges they face to determine what the future of the industry looks like as well as the needs of operators and employees.
In this webinar, join researchers, Lilly Jan, PhD lecturer of food and beverage at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Chandan Sharma and other industry professionals to discuss the findings from this study and how the broader independent food and beverage industry can progress. This ACF ChefsForum Webinar is presented in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation and Moderated by Anne E. McBride, JBF Vice President of Programs

As requested, here is the list of the previous 2021 Webinars with links:

The two most recent October webinars, which are really great for students:

Chef Nick Calias CEC, CCA – The Colannade Hotel, Boston – Fall Flavors (Pork Chop Dish)


Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer – The French Pastry School, Chicago – Laminated Doughs/Croissants

Salute to Excellence Awards Dinner

The Salute to Excellence Awards will take place on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. The awards dinner will recognize all ProStart Competition, Pineapple Award, Scholarship recipients and Hospitality Excellence Awardees. Registration will begin in January 2022.

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.

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!


The FRLAEF will award $44,000 in scholarships during the 2021-2022 school year. These scholarships will be awarded during the Salute to Excellence Awards in the Spring. The scholarship application will be available in January.

ProStart Teacher Training Institute

The FRLAEF will be conducting two Teacher Training events during summer 2022. Training will be held at the Keiser University Sarasota campus and at UCF Rosen 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 2022.