This was the third of a multi-year relationship with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, the competition’s title sponsor, and was represented by its Executive Director Karen Profita, who addressed the students, teachers and parents during the awards ceremony.
During the Culinary Competition, teams demonstrated their knife skills, poultry fabrication and creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course, gourmet meal in 60 minutes. All teams’ menus had to feature at least one type of the six Louisiana seafood species.
The winner of the Culinary Competition, for the second consecutive year, was Lakeshore High School in Mandeville, led by instructor Judy Achary and students Irelan Crosby, Autumn Hamm, Hunter Trahan and Gianna Nastas. The second place team was West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, led by instructor Amy Dreher and students Kevonte Davis, Jonathan Tate, Sarah Alford, Jonah Fowler and Jordan Bringedahl. The third place team was Dutchtown High School in Geismar, led by instructor Traci Martin and students Haley Stone, Cameron Gautreau, Mitchell Bailey, Joube Ryan and Monique Theriot.
Teams participating in the Management Competition demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant concept, including the menu, design, budget and marketing strategies, which they presented to a panel of judges as an entrepreneur would pitch to a group of investors.
The winner of the Management Competition was West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, led by instructor Amy Dreher and students Lexi Auxt, Jacob Manieri, Dalton Clevenger and Brandon Oliveaux. The second place team was Lakeshore High School in Mandeville, led by instructor Judy Achary and students Alex Gautreaux, Jacob Heffner, Gianna Nastas, Tracie Romano and Cole Krieger. The third place team was Hammond High Magnet School, led by instructor Angie Drago and students Todreion Amos, Savannah Hall and Terenisha Porter.
West Feliciana’s winning restaurant concept was “Dalton’s Diner,” a restaurant serving Cajun and Creole classics in a 1950’s style diner, adjacent to a college campus.
Lakeshore High School and West Feliciana High School will represent Louisiana in the National ProStart Invitational in Anaheim, California, April 18-20, 2015.
Schools were also recognized for their individual achievements in various categories within the two competitions.
- Knife Skills Award: Dutchtown High School
- Safety & Sanitation Award: Grace King High School
- Judges’ Pick- Appetizer: West Feliciana High School- pan seared sea scallop, oyster and crimini mushroom ravioli, with tarragon cream sauce and micro greens
- Judges’ Pick- Entrée: St. James Parish Career & Technology Center- crab meat stuffed Louisiana jumbo shrimp with Mardi Gras potatoes and sautéed asparagus with hollandaise
- Judges’ Pick- Dessert: Lakeshore High School- Marscapone and lemon curd bombe, raspberry macerate and crunchy twill
- Judges’ Award- Restaurant Concept: West Feliciana High School
- Judges’ Award- Critical Thinking: West Feliciana High School
- Judges’ Award- Visual Display: Hammond High Magnet School
- Judges’ Award- Verbal Presentation: North Vermilion High School
The 2015 LRAEF Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Invitational Sponsors include: Louisiana Seafood, Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor Services, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Louisiana Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Performance Foodservice Caro, Atmos Energy, Louisiana Culinary Institute, Camellia Brand, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Louisiana Gas Association, Whole Foods, Alack Culinary Equipment & Supplies Superstore, Centerplate, Coca-Cola, Community Coffee, Custom Apparel, Ecolab, Freeman Decorating, Generations Hall and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
ProStart is a nationwide career technical education program where high-school students learn from an industry-derived, competency-based curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management skills, coupled with real-life restaurant sector experiences. In addition to industry-specific skills, a majority of ProStart students report learning critical employability skills, including workplace and professional behavior, communications skills and teamwork.
The LRAEF pairs ProStart students and LRA members together in a mutually-beneficial relationship. Students are required to complete a 400-hour work internship, thus providing hands-on training. Many of LRA members serve as mentors to ProStart students.