2016 Arkansas ProStart Culinary Competition (PHOTOS)


Chocolate Chili Mousse by Conway Area Career Center


Today, the future of Arkansas’ culinary arts scene can be found at the 2016 Arkansas ProStart culinary competition, taking place today at Pulaski Tech’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.

If you’re unfamiliar, ProStart is a high-school level program preparing students for careers in food and hospitality. Students compete as school teams on the state level in their area of interest (culinary arts or hospitality management), and one team in each of these focus areas from each state moves forward to the national competition.

In Arkansas, ProStart is managed by the Arkansas Hospitality Association, which also helps the winning teams get to the national competition. This year, the winning teams will go to the National ProStart Invitational in Dallas, Texas at the end of April.

As with any real-time culinary competition, today’s event is full of excitement and disappointment. The students are all very talented, excited to do well on the three dishes they’ve practiced, which they must produce in 60 minutes. The dishes are then presented to a panel of judges for tasting and critique.

Tomorrow, Pulaski Tech will host the hospitality management competition, where teams give presentations on hospitality-related projects.

Winners of both competitions will be announced at the Governor’s Mansion tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on photos from today’s culinary competition, and join us in our anticipation of placing many of these students into the industry very soon.

Competing teams and their final dishes:

  • Northwest Arkansas Community College Early College Experience
  • Arkansas Tech Career Center
  • Conway Area Career Center
  • Blytheville High School
  • Metropolitan Career Technical Center

Event Photo Gallery:

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