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McCormick for Chefs to Sponsor the Ninth Annual National ProStart Invitational

(Chicago) McCormick For ChefsSM, the Food Away From Home division of McCormick & Company, the global leader in spices, herbs, seasonings, and flavor, will sponsor the Awards Dinner and Appreciation Reception at the ninth annual National ProStart Invitational competition, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today. The Awards Dinner on May 2 will wrap up the three-day competition, where student teams from 39 states will demonstrate their culinary and management abilities. The winning students will be presented scholarship prizes at the dinner event.

 

Contact: Megan Meyer (312) 715-6741

Spice leader to host Awards Dinner and Appreciation Reception

(Chicago) McCormick For ChefsSM, the Food Away From Home division of McCormick & Company, the global leader in spices, herbs, seasonings, and flavor, will sponsor the Awards Dinner and Appreciation Reception at the ninth annual National ProStart Invitational competition, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today. The Awards Dinner on May 2 will wrap up the three-day competition, where student teams from 39 states will demonstrate their culinary and management abilities. The winning students will be presented scholarship prizes at the dinner event.

Student teams competing in the 2010 National ProStart Invitational will demonstrate their culinary skills and knowledge of restaurant management in this fast-paced competition before more than 800 fellow students, educators, mentors, state restaurant association executives, and board members of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF. The event will be held April 30 - May 2 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan.

"McCormick For Chefs is proud to elevate our support of the ProStart program to the national level by serving as a partner for the annual competition, which is the ideal forum for culinary students from across the country to showcase their talent, skill and dedication," said Phil Kafarakis, Vice President of McCormick Food Away From Home, which has been a title sponsor of the Maryland ProStart Student Invitational and a state scholarship sponsor. "Working closely with the ProStart organization over the last three years has reaffirmed these students truly represent the future of the industry. We're committed to helping support and celebrate this next generation of foodservice professionals who want to express their culinary creativity and explore their passion for flavorful foods."

More than $1.25 million in scholarships will be awarded to winning students at the Awards Dinner presented by McCormick for Chefs on Sunday, May 2nd. That evening, the NRAEF and The Coca-Cola Company will award scholarships to students on the first- through fifth-place winning teams in both competitions, in addition to scholarships offered by sponsoring colleges and universities.

"The National ProStart Invitational is a celebration of the passion and dedication demonstrated by these future leaders of our industry," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. "We're extremely grateful to McCormick for Chefs for supporting the growth and success of our ProStart program."

The National ProStart Invitational consists of two competitions - management and culinary - and teams must win first place in their state competition to advance to the national event. More than 4,000 ProStart students will initially compete at the state level. Then, 275 will move on to the National ProStart Invitational.

Teams participating in the culinary competition will demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes using only two butane burners. The culinary teams will have a complimentary McCormick For Chefs Spice Pantry, consisting of products from its portfolio of brands McCormick CulinarySM, OLD BAY®, Zatarain's®, Thai Kitchen® and Lawry's®, available to them at the competition to add a wide variety of flavors to their meals. Management competition teams will develop a restaurant proposal, deliver a presentation, and apply critical thinking skills to challenges restaurant managers face in day-to-day operations. The performance of teams in both competitions is observed and rated by judges from industry and academia.

The National ProStart Invitational is also designed to be a learning experience for students. Teams will receive feedback directly from the judges on their performance, and will have the opportunity to network with judges and sponsors throughout the three-day event. In addition, McCormick for Chefs will be presenting a flavor profiling workshop for all students on Saturday, May 1st.

McCormick for Chefs joins a roster of industry leaders in supporting the National ProStart Invitational. Additional sponsors include American Express, Cambro, The Coca-Cola Company, Cracker Barrel, Dexter-Russell, Inc., Golden Corral, The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes, Nation's Restaurant News, Sodexo, Inc., and Sysco.

Nationwide, 83,000 students in 47 states, territories and districts are served by ProStart, a two-year curriculum supported by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and state restaurant associations across the United States. The career-building program blends classroom learning with mentored work experience to teach high school students the management and culinary skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and work at least 400 hours in the industry, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. For more information on the ProStart program and National ProStart Invitational, visit http://prostart.restaurant.org.

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