Monday, March 31, 2014

LRAEF Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Invitational Winners Announced

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) hosted the 13th Annual Louisiana Seafood ProStart® Student Invitational, March 25-26, 2014 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The Invitational showcased the culinary and academic talents of students from 20 high schools across Louisiana, and featured two primary components: the Culinary Competition and the Management Competition. This was the second of a multi-year relationship with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, the competition’s title sponsor, and was represented by Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who addressed the students, teachers and parents during the awards ceremony.

During the Culinary Competition, teams demonstrated their knife skills, poultry fabrication and creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes, consisting of a soup, salad or appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable and starch; and a dessert. All teams’ menus had to feature at least one type of the six Louisiana seafood species.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, LRAEF Chair Helen LeBourgeois
and LRA President/CEO Stan Harris with Culinary
Competition winners Lakeshore High School's ProStart team.

The winner of the Culinary Competition was Lakeshore High School in Mandeville, led by instructor Judy Achary and students Matthew Bertucci, Yenifer Fuentes, Alma Hagans, Hunter Trahan and alternate, Tatiana Joseph. The second place team was West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, led by instructor Amy Dreher and students Elizabeth Ritchie-Fudge, Zachary Lester, Amanda Mangham and Ian Moreau. The third place team was Ascension Parish- Dutchtown High School in Geismar, led by instructor Traci Martin and students Haley Thompson, Kyong Soo Han, Tyler Moore, Kathryn Sappe and alternate, Autumn Lee.

Lakeshore’s winning menu was: appetizer- crab-stuffed avocado served over a bed of arugula, topped with tangy vinaigrette; entrée-seared shrimp and Andouille sausage in a Cajun sauce with creamy grits; and dessert-Black and Gold parfait: creamy peanut butter mousse, layered with rich chocolate pudding and banana sauté, topped with peanuts and a brûléed banana fan.

Teams participating in the Management Competition demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a new restaurant concept proposal, creating a visual display, delivering a verbal presentation to a panel of judges and applying critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations.

Hammond High Magnet School's ProStart team takes top
place in Management Competition, with Lt. Gov.
Jay Dardenne, LRAEF Chair Helen LeBourgeois & LRA
President/CEO Stan Harris. 
The winner of the Management Competition was Hammond High Magnet School, led by instructor Angie Drago and students Todreion Amos, Sarah Davis, Courtney Edwards, Julia Lassalle and alternate, Jemario Rheams. The second place team was North Vermilion High School in Maurice, led by instructor Phyllis Bonhagen and students Sydney Thibodeaux, Lane Broussard, Jessica Doiron, Jamie Montet and Lindsey Morris. The third place team was Rayne High School, led by instructor Kandice Dequeant and students Phillip Broussard, Alyssa Billings and Natalie Breaux. 

Hammond’s winning restaurant concept was “Take 2,” a family restaurant, serving American cuisine inspired by some of America’s favorite movies.

Lakeshore High School and Hammond High Magnet School will represent Louisiana in the National ProStart Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. May 3-5, 2014.

New this year, were additional awards that recognized schools for their individual achievements in various categories within the two competitions.

  • Knife Skills Award: Hammond High Magnet School, instructor Angie Drago
  • Safety & Sanitation Award: Slidell High School, instructor Stephen Aucoin
  • Judges’ Pick- Appetizer: West Feliciana High School, whose team prepared a fried softshell crab, tomato confit and arugula sandwich, with fried capers and cornichon mustard. Instructor is Amy Dreher.
  • Judges’ Pick- Entrée: Salmen High School, whose team prepared seared Louisiana Gulf trout, with sautéed green beans and a root vegetable hash, topped with a classic Meunière sauce. Instructor is Allison Armand.
  • Judges’ Pick- Dessert: Mandeville High School, whose team prepared New Orleans bread pudding, layered with vanilla-poached Louisiana strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, finished with freshly whipped cream. Instructor is Carolyn Senac.
The courses chosen by the judges will be interpreted and served to the guests at the LRAEF’s annual Five Star Futures Gala Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

  • Judges’ Award- Restaurant Concept: Donaldsonville High School, instructor Angela Amedee
  • Judges’ Award- Critical Thinking: Slidell High School, instructor Stephen Aucoin
  • Judges’ Award- Visual Display: Sulphur High School, instructor Cassady Hickingbottom
  • Judges’ Award- Verbal Presentation: Fontainebleau High School, instructor Stacey Russell
The 2014 LRAEF Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Invitational Sponsors include: Louisiana Seafood, Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor Services, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Performance Foodservice Caro, Atmos Energy, Louisiana Culinary Institute, Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Raising Cane’s, Louisiana Gas Association, Whole Foods, Entergy, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s “Sea of Hope,” Centerplate, Coca-Cola, Community Coffee, Custom Apparel, Ecolab, Freeman Decorating, Generations Hall and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

ProStart is a two-year comprehensive culinary management course for juniors and seniors in high school with two primary outcomes: to prepare students for higher education and to train students to go directly to work in Louisiana’s foodservice industry. The LRAEF pairs ProStart students and LRA members together in a mutually-beneficial relationship. Students are required to complete a 400-hour work internship, thus providing hands-on training. Many of LRA members serve as mentors to ProStart students. 

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