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For Immediate Release


Maine High School Students Prepare to Compete in Statewide Culinary Challenge Hosted by the Maine Restaurant Association Education Foundation

Winning team to compete at the 15th Annual National ProStart Invitational
to be held in Dallas, Texas April 29 – May 1

AUGUSTA, ME, March 9, 2016—On Saturday, March 12, 2016 the Maine Restaurant Association Education Foundation will host its 5th Annual ProStart Competition, from 8:30am – 2:00pm, at the Holiday Inn By the Bay located at 88 Spring Street, Portland, ME where five ProStart teams from throughout Maine will gather to compete for a chance to demonstrate their culinary chops on the national stage in Texas.

Teams of four to five high school students, enrolled in ProStart, have 60 minutes to prepare a three-course meal without access to running water or electricity using only two butane burners. These culinary teams represent technical centers from around the state who offer ProStart—a two-year career and technical education program focused on teaching culinary skills and restaurant management fundamentals.

“It always thrills me to see young chefs giving it all they’ve got while working together as a team,” says Greg Dugal, President and CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association. “Make no mistake, these competitions are every bit as thrilling, dramatic and filled with surprising twists as any athletic event. Something happens to these young people during the competition that changes them and you can see it unfolding before your eyes. Unexpected leaders emerge, hurdles are overcome, and obstacles confronted.”

Through the generosity of local sponsoring companies the students and instructors from the winning team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to compete at the National ProStart Invitational® which is the country’s premier team high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. The 15th Annual National ProStart Invitational will be held in Dallas, Texas from April 29 - May 1, 2016.

The aforementioned sponsors include: Performance Foodservice – NorthCenter, Sysco Northern New England, Sea Dog Brewing Company, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, Pine Tree Food Equipment, Dennis Paper & Food Service, Governor’s Restaurant & Bakery, David’s Restaurant, Dimillo’s On the Water, Ground Round Restaurants, Pat’s Pizza – Yarmouth, US Foods, R.M. Flagg Company, Stone Cove Catering, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, Senator Inn & Spa, Oriental Jade, Husson University, and Holiday Inn By the Bay. Additional donations are provided by Victorinox, TimberlandPro, Carlisle and Ecolab.

Administered by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the ProStart curriculum is available in all 50 states, Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and Asia. Nearly 120,000 students are enrolled in the industry-driven program that offers a hands-on and group-learning based curriculum as a platform where students also learn employability skills such as teamwork, workplace communication, professionalism and time management.

“The students who compete here are determined,” says Dugal. “Determined to win, determined to succeed - and not just here in this moment, but for the rest of their lives. ProStart reinforces the relationship between industry and classroom, resulting in a workforce who understands what the industry is about and all of the opportunities it has to offer.”

For more information on the ProStart program, visit

Press Contact:
Greg Dugal, President and CEO, Maine Restaurant Association

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