Future master chefs and entrepreneurs are going head-to-head — both in the kitchen and the board room — at the 2017 Washington ProStart Invitational.
The culinary and restaurant management competition, facilitated by the Washington Hospitality Association’s Education Foundation, will be held Saturday at the McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.
Groups of four students, accompanied by a mentor and educator, prepare a three-course meal in one hour using only two butane burners and no running water or electricity. In the management portion of the contest, the teens present a comprehensive business plan to open their restaurant and manage daily operations.
This year’s competition will include kids from all over the state, including South Sound entries from Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Tacoma and Kent.
Professional restaurateurs, hoteliers and chefs in the industry serve as judges.
“This competition, and the ProStart program itself, is vital for preparing talented young people for careers which can impact the trajectory of their lives,” said Anthony Anton, Washington Hospitality Association president and CEO. “For every year people work in their teens, their income rises 14-16 percent in their 20s. ProStart trains teens and makes them measurably more employable.