Some of Virginia’s best young cooks gathered at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne earlier this month to go head to head over cutting boards and stovetops.
The state-level competition is put on by Virginia ProStart, a division of the national ProStart career-building program for high school students interested in the culinary arts and restaurant management.
For the first time in its 15 years, the Virginia ProStart Student Invitational was held in Northern Virginia. Sixty-five students representing 13 teams took part in the full-day cooking competition and business plan presentation. The students competed to be named the top culinary and management school in Virginia and for more than $600,000 in cumulative scholarships.
“This is the kind of program we love at The National; it directly supports our mission as an educational facility. I’m delighted to be able to work directly with these students,” stated Executive Chef Todd Goldian.
Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center won the culinary competition, and C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg took first place in the management category. The winning teams earned an invitation to compete in the 2018 National ProStart Student Invitational in Providence, RI.
Monroe is a nine-time winner of this competition under the direction of longtime culinary teacher Joy Anderson, who is retiring this year after 28 years at the technical school.