“Top Chef” Contestant Signs On to Judge State ProStart Culinary Competition


Contact: Heather Donahoe
Public Relations Coordinator

OLYMPIA, Wash.—Seattle’s own Robin Leventhal, a contestant on the sixth season of the Bravo Network’s “Top Chef,” will appear March 6 as a judge at the 10th annual Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational at South Seattle Community College, hosted by the Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation.

ProStart is a restaurant school-to-career program taught in Washington high schools through the Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation. The ProStart curriculum is nationally accredited and prepares students for successful careers in the foodservice industry.

As a judge, Leventhal will evaluate the efforts of ProStart students from across the state as they compete in the restaurant management portion of the competition. These high school students will be tasked with designing a restaurant concept and business plan.

“I’m committed to the education process, and what I love about teaching is seeing someone find their passion in life,” Leventhal said. “It is an honor to be a part of that process. I feel empowered seeing youth find their voice and their direction for the future.”

Leventhal formerly owned and operated CRAVE, a popular Seattle bistro. She has worked for more than 17 years in restaurant kitchens and has taught for more than 11 years.

Leventhal’s culinary prowess is now leveraged through her efforts to raise money for lymphoma research, and she is closely involved with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Leventhal will speak during the Washington Restaurant Association’s industry awards ceremony, Toasting the Finest, following the Invitational.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Robin as one of our judges this year,” said Lyle Hildahl, director of the WRA Education Foundation. “She is truly a role model for any young person pursuing a career in the culinary arts, and our ProStart students will benefit tremendously from her influence.”

In its tenth year, the Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational gives future restaurant industry leaders a platform for demonstrating their understanding of the foodservice industry. The student culinary teams will compete in contests challenging their knife skills, preparation techniques and presentations skills. Meanwhile, the restaurant management teams will display their comprehension of the restaurant business model by developing an entire restaurant concept and design from start to finish. The Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s mission is to be the leading solutions resource for training, education and career development for the Washington restaurant industry.

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