The National ProStart Invitational is the country’s premier competition for high school students who are studying culinary arts and restaurant management. Annually, nearly 400 ProStart students from across the globe put their knowledge and skills to the test in front of industry leaders, NRAEF Trustees, state restaurant association executives, top post-secondary schools, families and friends hoping to win coveted trophies, medals and scholarships from the nation’s top culinary arts and hospitality management programs.
How the Competition Works:
It’s the culmination of a series of state/regional competitions hosted by partner state restaurant associations and other ProStart partners. Winning teams from these events move on to compete at the National ProStart Invitational in two events: the Culinary Competition and the Management Competition.
Management Teams develop a concept for a new restaurant and present it to judges from industry and post-secondary education. Students are evaluated on their concept, marketing strategies, menu, recipes and food costs, operations and critical thinking skills.
Culinary Teams develop a unique menu for a three-course meal, complete with recipes and food costs, and prepare that meal in 60 minutes using two butane burners—with no electricity or running water . They are evaluated on their menu, degree of difficulty, food safety and sanitation, knife skills, cooking procedures, food costing, teamwork, taste and presentation of their meal.
The top five teams in each event (culinary and management) receive trophies, medals and scholarships to further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. In 2016 winning students received scholarships from 17 entities.
Competing students also have the opportunity to network with one another and with leaders of the nation’s restaurant and foodservice industry to discuss the many opportunities in store for them after high school.
The 16th Annual National ProStart Invitational
April 28-30, 2017
Charleston Area Convention Center
Charleston, South Carolina
See highlights from the 2016 National ProStart Invitational
2017 NPSI Overview:
State ProStart Competition Schedule
The 2017 NPSI Agenda
The 2017 NPSI Rules and Procedures, FAQs and other competition resources are available in The Hub, the ProStart Coordinator Resource Center. Contact your state ProStart Coordinator for this information.
Who can attend?
Both the culinary and management competition are open to the public (formal feedback sessions with the judges are closed). Specific team competition times will be announced on the website in early April; the event agenda is here.
If you’d like a name badge that shows your support for a specific state, please register as a ProStart Supporter. Note that a very limited number of Awards Dinner tickets are available. To purchase Awards Dinner tickets you must register as a ProStart Supporter, provide the name(s) of everyone for whom you are buying dinner tickets and pay with a credit card.
Those who are attending NPSI in an official capacity (judges, state coordinators, competing teams, scholarship donors, exhibitors et al) should register using the NPSI code provided by your NRAEF contact.
What about hotels and restaurants in the area?
Competing teams, judges, state coordinators and NPSI staff may reserve hotel rooms using their unique hotel reservation code.
For information about hotels near the competition site, visit the Charleston Area Convention Center (https://www.charlestonconventioncenter.com/ ) or search sites like Booking.com, Hotels.com or Kayak.
Charleston area dining and lodging options
Event and Registration Inquiries:
Please contact your State ProStart Coordinator or email ProStart@nraef.org.
Additional Competition Resource: NPSI 2017 Templates