California was well-represented by Greenville High School in the culinary competition and the Orange County School of the Arts in the management competition, both sponsored by BJ's Restaurants Foundation to attend.
The small-town team from Greenville cooked up a delectable Italian menu of Acqua Pazza, whitefish poached in a tomato and pepper broth. This was a big opportunity for students from a high school with only 11 students in its graduating class! In fact, this marked the first time two of the Greenville students flew in an airplane.
“CRAF has given me so many unique opportunities this year,” said Tanner Meigs, a Greenville High School student. “It’s a really great program. We all built up a strong work ethic this year while preparing for competition.”
The Orange County School of the Arts all-girl team showed off their public speaking and leadership skills as they pitched their proposal for a restaurant concept.
The California student delegation had the opportunity to network with other students and with leaders of the nation's restaurant and foodservice industry to discuss the many opportunities in store for them after high school.
“What an experience for our students,” said Alycia Harshfield, executive director of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. “They traveled across the county, networked with top industry leaders, sampled low-country cuisine, and represented California on a national stage.”
About the California Restaurant Association Foundation: CRAF empowers California’s current and future restaurant workforce. CRAF gives young people the skills they need to land a job and go to college and gives current restaurant employees financial assistance and peace of mind during an unforeseen crisis.
About ProStart: ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students which develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. In California, the ProStart program is operated by CRAF in 127 public high schools, reaching 9,000 students from Redding to San Diego. CRAF enriches these culinary arts classrooms through field trips, culinary and management competitions, and industry networking opportunities that work together to make school engaging, relevant and fun. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.