2024 ProStart Award presentation group photo of Marion County Technical Center Culinary Team

Marion County Technical Center Culinary Team

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Culinary and restaurant management teams from Marion County Technical Center and Monongalia County Technical Center will travel to Baltimore, Maryland to compete in the National ProStart Invitational on April 25, 2024. The teams will represent West Virginia as they captured Hospitality Cup state titles this year in Charleston.

For the third consecutive year, Monongalia Technical Education Center will represent West Virginia at nationals. The team impressed state judges with their innovative concept, Passing Thai, the fast-casual dining experience offering a menu inspired by Thai cuisine.

2024 ProStart Award presentation group photo of Monongalia County Technical Education Center Culinary Team

Monongalia Technical Education Center Restaurant Management Team

Marion County Technical Center impressed the judges with their dish featuring sautéed shrimp, pan-roasted filet mignon with sides, and hazelnut wafers with raspberries, whipped cream and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert.

The Hospitality Cup features both culinary and restaurant management competitions. The culinary competition teams prepared a three-course meal in an hour, using only two butane burners and without access to running water or electricity. The meals were judged by taste, skill, teamwork, safety and sanitation. The management competition teams developed a proposal for a promising restaurant idea and were judged on concept, operations, menu, marketing, presentation and critical thinking skills.

“It is a tremendous honor to host an event of this caliber, spotlighting emerging talent,” said West Virginia Department of Education State ProStart Coordinator Tami Maynard. “This competition showcases the practical application of skills vital in today’s workforce, particularly within West Virginia’s hospitality sector. Witnessing students achieve their aspirations within our state’s thriving hospitality industry is incredibly fulfilling.”

ProStart is a nationwide high school career technical education program from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation that reaches nearly 165,000 students at almost 1,850 schools each year – equipping them with the restaurant industry’s best two-year Certified Training and Education Program to jumpstart their culinary careers while still in high school. Over the last 24 years, more than 1 million high school students nationwide have received career-building training through ProStart’s curriculum, which merges hands-on restaurant and culinary experience with classroom instruction. Supported by the West Virginia Department of Education, the Mountain State has 46 ProStart programs, boasting an enrollment exceeding 1,400 students.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.

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