PCTI Places in Top Four of National ProStart Competition

On Sunday. April 29th, PCTI ProStart Culinary team made history for New Jersey’s ProStart program! Theo Chambliss, Melany Estrada, Aden Lewin, Mya Organisciak, and Maricela Pina impressed the judges with their signature three-course meal of glazed pork belly and seared see scallops (appetizer), pan seared duck breast with blackberry gastrique and stuffed rosti potato (entrée), and coconut gelato and Italian meringue (dessert). The team was crowned fourth place winners out of forty-six teams and more than four-hundred competitors!

For their outstanding accomplishment, each PCTI student will receive:
$1,000 cash from Denny’s
$1,000 from Burger King

$2,500 per year: Brightwater Center, $2,000: Cal Poly Pomona, $500: The Culinary Institute of Michigan, $2,000: Florida International University, $1,000 per year: International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach, $2,000: Louisiana Culinary Institute, $1,000 per year: Mississippi University for Women, $1,000: Nicholls State University, $10,000 off of out-of-state tuition: University of South Carolina

About the ProStart Competition, Marilou Halvorsen, President of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association, says, “The poise and pressure this competition requires of young adults are unreal. First, they have to win our state competition, which isn’t easy, and then travel within weeks to a national competition to compete against the country’s best. Finishing in the top five is monumental.”

The ProStart program is a two-year high school curriculum that builds strong character and job skills. Once students complete the curriculum, many go on to immediate jobs in the foodservice industry or are offered college scholarships to further their education. NJ’s ProStart curriculum is recognized by more than sixty colleges and universities.

“We are becoming the state to watch,” said Leslie Steele, New Jersey Restaurant Educational Foundation’s director, “Like most competitions, there are those few dominant teams who place in the top five every year. With continued funding and growth of NJ’s program, I have no doubt we have a chance to be one of those teams.” Steele added.

Congratulations to PCTI’s ProStart Culinary team on making history and being named fourth at that National ProStart Competition!

PCTI Instructors Ron Ossi (left) and Celeste Zaleski (right) join Mya Organisciak (Hawthorne), Aden Lewin (Wayne), Theo Chambliss (Paterson), Maricela Pina (Passaic), Melany Estrada (Clifton) in celebrating their 4th place win at the National ProStart competition in Providence, Rhode Island.