Putnam Co. Chef Recognized for Contribution to Students

March 30, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Duane Legg, executive chef with US Foods of Hurricane, has received the Friend of ProStart Award. The recognition is given annually by the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT) to an individual who promotes the ProStart program’s educational initiatives.

Legg’s work with ProStart began as the chef mentor for the St. Albans High School team for the WV HEAT sponsored Hospitality Cup. That participation resulted in his leading two teams to national competition. It was on one of these national trips that Legg conceived of an event that would engage many more students with the hospitality industry.

That opportunity became the first ProStart Culinary Day in 2006. Since then, the annual event has attracted as many as 500 attendees.
Donna Wilkes, ProStart coordinator for WV HEAT, said thousands of students have engaged with West Virginia’s hospitality industry over the years because of Legg’s commitment to ProStart,
Most recently, in conjunction with the 21st Collaborative for Appalachian Cuisine’s Cast Iron Cook-Off, Legg organized the “ProStart Day at the Mall” held at Charleston Town Center. Five ProStart teams from programs statewide worked together to produce the menu developed by Legg for the event. The students demonstrated their culinary skills and then provided the food, provided by US Foods, to the public.
For more information, contact Donna Wilkes, ProStart coordinator for WV HEAT, at (304) 558-6321, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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