NRAEF ProStart Invitational

Missouri, Connecticut Take Top Honors at ProStart 2018

High-school students from Missouri and Connecticut were the big winners at this year's National ProStart Invitational in Providence, R.I.

National Restaurant Association

Following months of practice and participation in state competitions, the team members from Herndon Career Center in Raytown, Mo., and Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Conn., won top honors at the National ProStart Invitational in Providence, R.I.

The two teams outscored all others to win the competition, hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Herndon Career Center won the culinary category with a menu that included butter-poached Maine lobster and saffron couscous, pine nut pork tenderloin with truffle Yukon potato and vegetable bouquetiere, and a raspberry-dark chocolate Bavarian dessert.

Wilbur Cross took first place in the management category for its ice-cream shop concept designed to create awareness of and pathways for women.

Rob Gifford, the Educational Foundation’s executive vice president, offered his congratulations to the winners and all of the teams competing this year. He said they were part of a special group the foundation calls ProStart Nation.

“Since we launched ProStart 17 years ago, we have graduated more than half a million students,” he said. “We’re thrilled to see where this year’s competitors’ careers will take them as they set out and commit to the restaurant industry.”

The top five teams in the culinary and management competitions shared a total of $200,000 in educational scholarships. The students can use the scholarships at any college or university of their choosing. Here are the top five teams in both categories:


  1. Herndon Career Center, Raytown, Mo.
  2. Rockwall High School, Rockwall, Texas
  3. Anderson Career and Technology Center, Williamston, S.C.
  4. Passaic County Technical Institute, Wayne, N.J.
  5. Oakland Schools Technical Campus NW, Village of Clarkston, Mich.

Restaurant Management

  1. Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven, Conn.
  2. North Buncombe High School, Weaverville, N.C.
  3. Wilson Central High School, Lebanon, Tenn.
  4. Carver Middle High School, Carver, Mass.
  5. Grandview High School, Aurora, Colo.

For more information about the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and ProStart, visit

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