Delaware, Texas teams take top prize at 2022 ProStart Invitational

Delaware wins culinary competition while Texas takes top prize for restaurant management

The top honors of the National Prostart Invitational in Washington, DC go to Caesar Rodney High School of Camden, Delaware, and Ben Barber Innovation Academy of Mansfield, Texas, earning first place finishes. The National Restaurant Educational Foundation (NRAEF) sponsored the ProStart event that hosted these and 80 other culinary and restaurant management teams.

The invitational returned as an in-person event for the first time since 2019. This year, the NRAEF awarded more than $200,000 in scholarship funds to winning teams. Caesar Rodney High School became the culinary competition winner, while Ben Barber Innovation Academy took first prize for the restaurant management competition.

A total of 1,000 attendees, including nearly 400 ProStart participants and 68 judges made the event one to remember. Major sponsors, including Ecolab, Nestlé Professional, The Coca-Cola Company and Golden Corral helped make the event a success.

According to NRAEF’s announcement, “Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Delaware, earned their top spot in the culinary competition with a menu featuring flavors from France, Italy and Greece that included frisée salad with egg yolk ravioli, Mediterranean lamb loin, and chocolate dome with balsamic raspberries. Ben Barber Innovation Academy in Mansfield, Texas, won first place in the restaurant management competition with “The Herb’N Table” concept that featured a farm-to-table, contemporary-casual dining experience.”

Culinary competition winners

These top teams were exemplary and scored highest in the culinary competition:

  • Caesar Rodney High School – Camden, Delaware
  • Anderson Career and Technology Center – Williamston, South Carolina
  • Herndon Career Center – Raytown, Missouri
  • Ben Barber Innovation Academy – Mansfield, Texas
  • Capital Area Technical Center – Augusta, Maine
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Restaurant management competition winners

These were the top teams in the restaurant management competition:

  • Ben Barber Innovation Academy – Mansfield, Texas
  • Sauk Rapids-Rice High School – Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
  • Wilson Central High School – Lebanon, Tennessee
  • Wilbur Cross High School – New Haven, Connecticut
  • Anderson Career and Technology Center – Williamston, South Carolina

National Educator of Excellence Awards

At an awards gala, the National Educator of Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Golden Corral, were also bestowed on a few select educators that give it their all. These individuals demonstrated excellence in the classroom and have a passion for helping their students to make the most of their future careers, leveraging opportunities found in the ProStart program. In addition, three educators were select for their excellence in specific vital categories:

  • Ben Rengstorf, a Roosevelt High School ProStart educator from Minneapolis, Minnesota, James H. Maynard Teacher of the Year
  • Classroom Expertise: Stephanie Kunkel, Jackson High School, Massillon, Ohio
  • Best Practice/Knowledge Sharing: Dominic Hawkes, Lancaster County School District Career Center, Lancaster, South Carolina
  • Industry Connection: Daniel Wagner, Greene County Career & Technology Center, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
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