(Taken from a press release) Representative David Rutigliano (R-123) joined with the Connecticut Restaurant Association and its charitable foundation, The Connecticut Hospitality and Education Foundation, for The Connecticut ProStart Invitational on Thursday, March 7th at Gateway Community College at the downtown campus in New Haven, Connecticut.
This year, there were two competitions, a culinary competition and a management competition. Stamford High School and Wilbur Cross High School, located in New Haven, participated in the Culinary Competition. Stamford High School also participated in the management competition. Rutigliano, a small business owner and chef, is also a board member of the Connecticut Hospitality and Education Foundation - the charitable arm of the CT Restaurant Association.
The Culinary competition judged the schools in different categories ranging from knife skills to the production of a three course meal to clean-up. Teams participating in the management competition were asked to create their own restaurant concept and will be required to present their restaurant plan to a panel.
“I want to thank the students and organizers for making me a part of this special event,” said Rutigliano. “Cooking under pressure is no easy task and these students showed that they were up for the challenge. I am confident that if more young people like the ones I met today decide to stay in Connecticut after graduation, then our economic future will be bright.”
“I want to thank Dave for taking the time to judge this year’s competition,” said Jennifer Conklin-Smith, organizer of the annual event. “Dave supports our cause year after year and I could not think of a better mentor for the chefs of tomorrow.”
ProStart is the career-building program for high school students who are interested in culinary arts, restaurant and foodservice management. ProStart is an exciting two-year program where students study in the classroom, participate in mentored work experiences, and test their skills in local and national competitions. Most importantly, ProStart students grow into the leaders the restaurant industry needs.
From 2011 to 2021, the number of jobs in the restaurant and foodservice industry are projected to increase by 3.1 million. That includes 11 % growth in chefs and head cooks and 8% growth in management positions.
ProStart is currently working for approximately 90,000 student participants in more than 1,700 schools, across 47 states.