Students To Heat Up Hospitality Cup Competition

February 24, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – ProStart students will showcase their culinary and foodservice management expertise with a “Bam!” as they compete in the Eighth Annual West Virginia ProStart Hospitality Cup on March 3 - 4 at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, W.Va. 

Students from the Academy of Careers and Technology, Boone Career Center, Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Greenbrier West High School, John C. Marshall High School, Marion County Technical Center, Mason Career Center, Mingo County Technical Center, Putnam Career and Technical Center, St. Albans High School, United Technical Center and Wood County Technical Center are slated to present their delectable talents.

“The Hospitality Cup competition represents an excellent way for students to apply their culinary and management knowledge with a small taste of `real-world' pressure,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine.

The annual ProStart Hospitality Cup competition, conducted by the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT), has two components: culinary and management. Teams participating in the culinary competition will exhibit their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal, consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert, in just one hour. Teams participating in the management competition will demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by competing in a case study, where students are tested on their communication skills and ability to apply their knowledge of the industry to practical situations. The students also will participate in a game show-style event.

“Each team must have a working foodservice industry professional as the team’s coach,” said Donna Wilkes, WV HEAT coordinator. “Working with these professionals really helps students connect the ProStart curriculum to real life experiences. The mentors are invaluable to the students’ experience.  It is not an overstatement to say that this experience can change a student’s life.”

The first, second and third place teams will receive scholarships from a total of 10 post-secondary schools, both in-state and from across the country. The first place teams from the management competition and culinary competition will represent West Virginia at the National Competition in San Diego this April.

The ProStart program, administered in West Virginia by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and WV HEAT, is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them. Students who meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement, which signifies they are well qualified to enter the workforce. Currently, 52 ProStart programs operate in West Virginia with an enrollment of approximately 1,200 high school students per year.

To learn more about the 2009 Hospitality Cup Competition, WV HEAT or the ProStart program, call 304-558-6321 or visit


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