Collins Faculty Provide Professional Development Through ProStart


Collins Faculty Provide Professional Development Through ProStart
Collins College Chef Jerry Chesser judges dishes prepared by ProStart students at the national competition in April. In the middle, he is joined by Top Chef contestant Brian Malarkey. (Photo courtesy of National Restaurant Association Solutions)

Collins College faculty members have had another active year with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's (NRAEF) ProStart program. This nationwide career-building program serves high school students who are interested in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Collins College faculty members often provide professional development for high school and vocational education teachers who teach culinary classes.

This summer, 17 teachers attended the 2008 NRAEF Summer Institute at Cal Poly Pomona organized by Lecturer Belinda de Villa Lopez, CHE. Chefs Dr. Jeff Brown, Dr. Jerry Chesser and Scott Rudolph taught workshops including garde manger, food safety and sanitation, and culinary courses covering a variety of cuisines. The teachers traveled from all over the country to attend the Summer Institute, which was held July 20-25. Two teachers even came from U.S. military bases in Japan and Germany.

In April, Chesser, Brown and Rudolph also lent their expertise as officials or judges during the seventh annual National ProStart Invitational in San Diego.

“The competition is a true showcase of student talent and knowledge,” Chesser said. “The level of dedication exhibited by the student competitors is outstanding.”

The National ProStart Invitational showcased the culinary and management talents of ProStart students from 35 states and territories as they competed in culinary and management competitions. To qualify for the national competition, teams won first place in their state competitions held earlier this year by their individual state restaurant associations.

“The student-competitors train every bit as hard and intensely as an Olympic athlete, honing a craft that will continue traditions found in the culinary arts,” Brown said.

ProStart was developed by the NRAEF and is managed nationally by National Restaurant Association Solutions in conjunction with state restaurant associations.