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Students battle in culinary competition

Hospitality and Tourism
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High school students from across South Carolina are battling it out until Tuesday in the 16th annual S.C. ProStart Invitational at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Golf Resort on Verdae Boulevard in Greenville. The competition brings together students who participate in ProStart, a two-year high school program designed to unite classroom and workplace to develop talent for the restaurant and food service industries.

“This competition gives students the opportunity to bring to life the culinary arts and restaurant management skills they have gained through the ProStart program,” John Durst, president and CEO of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, said in a news release. “The competing students have spent countless hours throughout the academic year preparing with the help of their educators and industry mentors.”

Around 150 students from high schools across the state faced off Sunday and today in either the culinary arts competition or the restaurant management competition.

In the culinary arts competition, teams have one hour to design, budget, prepare and serve a three-course meal using only two butane burners. Using industry standards, certified chefs judge the gourmet meals prepared by the students, the news release said.

In the restaurant management competition, teams demonstrate their knowledge by developing a restaurant proposal, delivering a verbal presentation and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations, the news release said. Judges also will question the students about their proposal at the end of their presentation. Organizers say the culinary arts competition is similar to the television show Iron Chef while the management competition is similar to Shark Tank.

Winning teams will receive individual scholarships, medals, a team trophy and a chance to represent South Carolina at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C., in May, hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

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