Congratulations to the winners from the 21st Annual New Mexico ProStart Invitational.

Taos High School Culinary Team and Carlsbad High School Management Team will be on their way to Nationals, April 26-28 in Baltimore.. The teams will compete against other qualifying teams from across the country for their chance to win the national title!

Taos High School – 1st Place Culinary                          Carlsbad High School – 1st Place Management

The two teams competed for their titles this past week at the New Mexico ProStart Invitation held on March 12 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. It was an action-packed day!

Carlsbad High School and Albuquerque High School took second and third in the culinary competition.

Carlsbad High School – 2nd Culinary                            Albuquerque High School – 3rd Culinary

Cloudcroft High School and Taos High School took second and third in the management competition, respectively.

Cloudcroft High  – 2nd Management                          Taos High School  – 3rd Management

Carlsbad High School won this year’s Hospitality Cup for the best combined Culinary and Management team score.

Elly McAlpine, teacher at Volcano Vista High School, was named New Mexico’s ProStart Educator of the Year for 2024.

Elly McAlpine, Volcano Vista – Educator of the Year

The teams that placed first at the state competition advance to the National ProStart Invitational in two categories – Culinary and Management.  The culinary competition highlights the creative abilities of each team through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes using only two butane burners.  Management teams develop a proposal for an original restaurant concept and apply critical thinking skills to challenges restaurant managers face in day-to-day operations.  The performance of teams in both the culinary and management events is observed and rated by expert judges from industry and academia.

“ProStart is developing the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders.  These students have proven their mettle in the New Mexico ProStart Invitational and have the full support of the New Mexico restaurant industry as they move forward,” said Tom Schuch, Education Director, Hospitality Industry Education Foundation.  “ProStart gives students a sense of purpose and helps them feel passionate about their own future – which will be on full display when the students represent New Mexico in the National ProStart Invitational.”

The culinary and management teams will be accompanied by their educators, Adam Medina (Taos) and Kevin Zink (Carlsbad).

Taos Culinary team members include:

Meili Brown
Elliot Conlan
Sarai Romero
Razielle Valencia
Talia Tank – Manager

Carlsbad Management team members include:

David  Balderamma

Arianna  Barron
Carlo Cardenas
Alicia Hernandez
Star Hernandez – Manager