FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Victoria Martinez, Executive Dir.
3/27/12 505-343-9848

15 New Mexico High School Teams Compete for $266,000 in Culinary and Restaurant Management Scholarships
Governor Martinez to Present Awards to Students

(Albuquerque, NM) Come watch teen chefs unveil their restaurant concepts and create tantalizing dishes at the New Mexico ProStart Invitational, hosted by Ben E. Keith Foods at the Albuquerque Convention Center in the Northeast Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Fifteen New Mexico high school culinary and management teams will vie for scholarships and the opportunity to represent the state at the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, Maryland.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will be presenting the awards to the students at 3:00 PM.

The ProStart Invitational consists of two competitions: culinary and management. Teams participating in the culinary competition must demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course gourmet meal in only 60 minutes. Teams participating in the management competition demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant concept proposal, delivering a verbal presentation, and applying critical thinking skills to challenges restaurant managers face in day-to-day operations.

Their performance is observed and rated by judges from leading colleges, universities and industry professionals.

The culinary competition fires up at 9:00am. Restaurant concepts from the management competition will be presented at 1:00pm. Optimal video and photo opportunities are available from 9:00-11:00am for the cook-off and 1:00-3:00pm for the restaurant concept presentations.

Competing schools include: Alamogordo High, Chaparral High, Cloudcroft High, Clovis High, Gadsden High, Grants High, Las Cruces High, Los Alamos High, Manzano High, Mescalero Apache School, Pojoaque Valley High, Rio Rancho High, Sandia High, Silver High, and Taos High.

The New Mexico ProStart Invitational is hosted by the Hospitality Industry Education Foundation of the New Mexico Restaurant Association and Ben E. Keith Foods. $266,000 in scholarships for winning teams provided by: The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes, Johnson and Wales University, Louisiana Culinary Institute, and New England Culinary Institute..

The Hospitality Industry Education Foundation (HIEF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling the educational mission of the New Mexico Restaurant Association. In addition to administering the ProStart Program, HIEF awards scholarships to students pursuing a degree in the hospitality industry. To learn more about HIEF programs call 1-800-432-0740.