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East Ridge High School wins statewide culinary awards


ORLANDO -- The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) recently announced the winners of the 16th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition which was held earlier this month at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

Out of 49 schools, East Ridge High School won 2nd place overall in the state and won third place in three of the four competitions. It was the only Lake County school to place this year.

All winners and participants are a part of Florida’s ProStart program, which is a career technical education program where high school students learn from an industry-derived curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management skills.  More than 20,000 students from across the state are enrolled in the program. The four main event competitions included the Cracker Barrel Management Competition, the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition, the Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition, and the Coca-Cola Company Waiters Relay Competition.

Gainesville’s Eastside High School won first place in the overall competition. East Ridge High School in Clermont took home second place in the overall competition, with J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs placing third.

East Ridge won third place in the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition, where participating teams demonstrated their creative abilities through the preparation of a meal consisting of: starter (such as soup, salad or appetizer), protein (such as meat, fish or fowl), starch, vegetable, and dessert.

They won third place in the Cracker Barrel Management Competition, where teams demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a business proposal for a new restaurant concept. The business proposal consisted of a defined restaurant concept, supporting menu, and supporting marketing plan. Teams prepared a comprehensive written proposal, verbal presentation and visual display.

East Ridge also won third place in Coca-Cola Company Waiters Relay Competition, where teams demonstrated their ability to duplicate a table setting while racing against the clock.

“These students absolutely represent the future of Florida’s hospitality industry and we are proud to help support their education by awarding more than $1 million in scholarships," Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association said of all the participants. "We are passionate about investing in the lives of these student all-stars and are thrilled we get to watch them craft their incredible talents and build successful careers.”