Media Advisory: High school students to dish up culinary creations at Iowa State University

AMES, Iowa – High school students from across the state will put their culinary skills and creativity to the test for a shot to compete nationally. Iowa State University’s Hospitality Management Program is hosting the 2015 Iowa ProStart® Invitational on Monday, March 2, at the Memorial Union.

ProStart logo

More than 200 students are expected to compete in the event, which is coordinated by the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Student teams will have 60 minutes to prepare a three-course meal using provided ingredients and two butane burners. The event also features a management competition in which students present and defend an original restaurant concept to a panel of restaurant owners and entrepreneurs from across the state. Winners will represent Iowa at the national competition in April.

Robert Bosselman, professor and chair of the Iowa State Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management Department, says the competition gets students excited about careers in the restaurant and food service field.

“The competition is a learning experience. The idea is that these students will run their own restaurant one day,” Bosselman said. “While many students in ProStart® go right to work after high school, by hosting the competition we hope they’ll see the opportunities we have to offer at Iowa State.”  

Competition schedule

Culinary competition: 8:40 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. Memorial Union Great Hall

  • Students will demonstrate knife, poultry fabrication and prepare a three-course meal. Judges will critique taste and menu.
  • Teams will start in 20 minute intervals.

Management competition: 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Memorial Union South Ballroom

  • Students will present case studies and visual displays for judges to critique.

Career Fair: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Memorial Union Sun Room

  • The fair is open to students and the public interested in a career in the hospitality industry.

ProStart® is a two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into restaurant and hospitality industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s® industry-driven curriculum provides real-world education opportunities and the skills needed for a career in the hospitality industry.