Spokane teens win premier youth culinary and management competition

Spokane teens win premier youth culinary and management competition https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/32711798580_eb7b1da0c8_z-1.jpg

LAKEWOOD, WASH. – Lewis and Clark High School of Spokane took first place in the management portion of the Washington ProStart Invitational. The event is the premier youth culinary and restaurant management competition in the state.

Now these hometown kids get to hop a plane and compete for scholarships and honors at the National ProStart Invitational, April 28-30 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Students went head-to-head in the kitchen and the board room on Feb. 18, at the McGavick Conference Center. Locals from Spokane came out on top.

Ferris High School from Spokane also placed third in the management division, Katarina Ducharme from Ferris High School won Student of the Year, and Joanie Pringle Jones of Mt. Spokane High School won Teacher of the Year.

“The local students, teachers and mentors who participate in ProStart are amazing,” said Naja Hogander, the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation’s manager. “They impress celebrated chefs and entrepreneurs with their work. ProStart is vital to creating rising stars of our industry.”

During the event, groups of four students, accompanied by a mentor and educator, prepare a three-course meal in just 60 minutes using only two butane burners and no running water or electricity.

In the management portion of the contest, the teens present a comprehensive business plan to open their restaurant and manage daily operations.

Professional restaurateurs, hoteliers and chefs in the industry serve as judges, blending praise and ideas for growth.

The competition was fierce and included participants from all four corners of Washington State.

The Hospitality Association’s Education Foundation facilitates ProStart each year. The two-year hospitality program develops culinary techniques and management skills in high school students. Washington’s program serves more than 1,500 high school students per year. Students who complete 400 hours of industry work experience and pass both ProStart exams can attain a nationally recognized Certificate of Achievement, applicable toward scholarship opportunities and tuition reductions.



2017 Winners


First Place: Oak Harbor High School

Second Place: Bonney Lake High School

Third Place: Heritage High School, Vancouver


First Place: Lewis & Clark High School, Spokane

Second Place: Bonney Lake High School

Third Place: Ferris High School, Spokane


Student of the Year: Katarina Ducharme (Ferris High School, Spokane)

Teacher of the Year: Joanie Pringle Jones (Mt. Spokane High School, Spokane)

Mentor of the Year: Scott Fraser (Frasers Gourmet Hideaway, Oak Harbor)