Delaware and Texas students win top honors at 2022 National Prostart Invitational in Washington, D.C.

Culinary and restaurant management competition was first in-person event in three years and featured $200,000 in scholarship funds for winning teams

WASHINGTON, DC – May 9, 2022 – Besting 80 other culinary and restaurant management teams from across the country, Caesar Rodney High School of Camden, Delaware, and Ben Barber Innovation Academy of Mansfield, Texas, earned first place finishes at the 2022 National ProStart® Invitational (NPSI), hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). he competition, held in Washington, D.C., marked the first in-person event since 2019 and awarded more than $200,000 in scholarship funds to winning teams to support their future careers. Caesar Rodney High School won the culinary competition while Ben Barber Innovation Academy won the restaurant management competition.

NPSI 2022 culinary competition champions from Caesar Rodney High School, Camden, Delaware

NPSI 2022 Culinary Competition Champions from Caesar Rodney High School, Camden, Delaware

2022 NPSI Management Competition Champions from Ben Barber Innovation Academy, Mansfield, Texas

2022 NPSI Management Competition Champions from Ben Barber Innovation Academy, Mansfield, Texas

“We were thrilled to bring the top culinary and restaurant management high school students together, in-person, for the first time in three years,” said Rob Gifford, President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “These high school students are the best-of-the-best, representing the industry’s talent of tomorrow, and it was a pleasure to give them this platform to showcase their incredible skills on a national stage and win scholarships to support their career goals in the restaurant and foodservice industry. We congratulate each participant and look forward to all that they will go on to achieve.”

With sponsors including Ecolab, Nestlé Professional, The Coca-Cola Company and Golden Corral, the three-day national event kicked off on Friday, May 6 and saw over 1,000 attendees, including almost 400 ProStart participants and 68 judges.

Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, Delaware, earned their top spot in the culinary competition with a menu featuring flavors from France, Italy and Greece that included frisée salad with egg yolk ravioli, Mediterranean lamb loin, and chocolate dome with balsamic raspberries. Ben Barber Innovation Academy in Mansfield, Texas, won first place in the restaurant management competition with “The Herb’N Table” concept that featured a farm-to-table, contemporary-casual dining experience.

Below are the top five teams for each competition.


  1. Caesar Rodney High School – Camden, Delaware
  2. Anderson Career and Technology Center – Williamston, South Carolina
  3. Herndon Career Center – Raytown, Missouri
  4. Ben Barber Innovation Academy – Mansfield, Texas
  5. Capital Area Technical Center – Augusta, Maine

Restaurant Management

  1. Ben Barber Innovation Academy – Mansfield, Texas
  2. Sauk Rapids-Rice High School – Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
  3. Wilson Central High School – Lebanon, Tennessee
  4. Wilbur Cross High School – New Haven, Connecticut
  5. Anderson Career and Technology Center – Williamston, South Carolina

Winning teams won a combined $200,000 in scholarships, which can be used at the college or university of their choice. Past NPSI winners have gone on to establish careers at some of the best restaurants in the world, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York and Alinea in Chicago.

During the award ceremony held Sunday evening, May 8, NPSI also celebrated teachers recognized through the ProStart National Educator of Excellence Awards (EEA). With support from Golden Corral, these annual awards recognize educators that demonstrate excellence in the classroom and have a passion for helping their students make the most of the opportunities offered through the ProStart program. Ben Rengstorf, a Roosevelt High School ProStart educator from Minneapolis, Minnesota, was named the James H. Maynard Teacher of the Year, while the following three select educators were also honored for their excellence in the following categories:

  • Classroom Expertise: Stephanie Kunkel, Jackson High School, Massillon, Ohio
  • Best Practice/Knowledge Sharing: Dominic Hawkes, Lancaster County School District Career Center, Lancaster, South Carolina
  • Industry Connection: Daniel Wagner, Greene County Career & Technology Center, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania


The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC) – accredited apprenticeship programs designed to build the careers of service professionals. For more information on the NRAEF, visit 

Click here for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s 2021 Annual Impact Report. 


Hannah Oliver
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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