West Virginia ProStart Teams to Serve Up Holiday Dishes at Southern Living Christmas Show

November 10, 2003

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Four West Virginia ProStart programs are taking their talents on the road. Participants of the culinary arts program and West Virginia chefs and food producers will be performing cooking demonstrations at the Southern Living Christmas Show in Charlotte, NC, from November 13-23.  

The ProStart Team from United Technical Center in Clarksburg will partner with their teacher Michael Murray, who also owns a restaurant in Clarksburg, on November 18. This team won the state’s Hospitality Cup earlier this year and went on to the national ProStart competition in Denver. It was also featured on the Food Network’s special, Varsity Cook-Off.  

On November 19, a ProStart team from Fayette Plateau Technical Center, in Fayette County, and their teacher Betty Scott will work with Robin Hildebrand, owner of Blue Smoke Salsa. Together, they will demonstrate various holiday recipes using salsa.  

On November 20, two teams from Wood County Technical Center will join forces with the executive chef of the Blennerhassett Hotel and Dominique Holl, owner of Holl’s Chocolates. They will prepare holiday dishes featuring West Virginia Trout and Holl’s Chocolates.  

“The exposure these culinary teams will receive will be incredible,” said Gene Coulson, West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Coordinator for the WV Hospitality Education And Training program (HEAT). “West Virginia should be very proud of these talented students.”  

The Southern Living Christmas Show attracted nearly 140,000 visitors last year and is one of the largest shows of its type in the country. This opportunity was made available by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, which is sponsoring a 1,000 square foot West Virginia Country Store at the show. The Country Store will sell West Virginia-made gourmet food products. The ProStart activities will support the promotion of West Virginia made food products.  

ProStart is a two-year course of study developed by the National Restaurant Association and administered by that group and the WVDE’s HEAT program. ProStart allows 11th and 12th graders to learn the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for success in restaurant management careers.  

For further information, contact Gene Coulson at (304) 558-3896, or Cindy Martel, with Department of Agriculture at (304) 541-9756.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.