MHS Students Place First at Pennsylvania ProStart Culinary Invitational for Fourth Consecutive Year
Five Milton Hershey School students recently participated in the 2019 Pennsylvania ProStart Culinary Invitational where they worked as a team to test their culinary skills in front of industry leaders. MHS students placed first in the state-wide competition for the fourth consecutive year.
“The culinary team spent over 100 hours training for this event,” said Sam Katzaman, a culinary arts teacher at MHS. “We started last May by pulling a larger team together, finalizing menu ideas, writing and costing out recipes, and testing and refining those items.”
After months of training and preparation, MHS students competed in the Culinary and Management categories of competition. For the culinary event, students successfully created a three-course meal in under an hour using only two butane burners. As part of the culinary competition, butane burners were their only source of heat—they did not have access to running water, electricity, or ovens.
For the management event, students designed their own restaurant concept based on consumer demographics and created a menu and restaurant layout. They also applied business and customer service skills by developing marketing tactics, sales projections, and return on investments. During the competition, students were required to present their restaurant concept to a panel of judges and answer critical thinking questions about their proposal.
MHS students placed first in both categories of competition, advancing to the National ProStart Culinary Invitational in Washington D.C. in May.
The ProStart Invitational is a secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
All five students who competed in the invitational are members of the MHS Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Services career pathway, which is one of 12 concentrations offered in the school’s Career and Technical Education program. Through specialized classes, hands-on learning opportunities, and events like the ProStart Culinary Invitational, MHS students are equipped with the skills and resources to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.