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ProStart® Program

ProStart® is a national, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart's industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills that will last a lifetime. ProStart® serves nearly 140,000 students nationally and reaches approximately 3,000 students in Illinois.

The curriculum is industry relevant, addresses necessary critical skills, meets Illinois State Board of Education learning standards, and offers nationally recognized certifications. The Illinois ProStart® Program goes beyond providing a curriculum in the classroom by connecting students to industry via field trips, classroom speakers, career camps and more. For more information for students and teachers, see below:


Save the DateProStart® 2020 Invitational

March 7, 2020 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL 


Prostart Competition Information Here

2019 ProStart® Invitational: 

On Saturday, February 2, the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation welcomed four culinary teams and six management teams comprised of high school ProStart students from across the state to compete in the 18th Annual Illinois ProStart® Invitational. This full day of Culinary and Restaurant Management competitions were hosted by Savor…Chicago and McCormick Place.

Woodruff Career and Technical Center took first place in the management division while Technology Center of DuPage earned first in the culinary division.   Both teams received scholarships and prizes and will advance to compete in the National ProStart® Invitational May 8-10 in Washington, D.C.

Over 40 industry professionals and representatives from post-secondary schools judged both competitions. Represented among these industry leaders are executive chefs, corporate chefs, chef instructors and hospitality professionals from a variety of industry sectors. 

The event, presented by Title Sponsor Sysco also included a College and Industry Expo featuring admissions representatives from post-secondary culinary programs, and industry job opportunities.

The top ranking teams included:

Culinary Competition

1st place: Technology Center of DuPage

2nd place: Benito Juarez Community Academy

3rd place: Oswego High School

Management Competition

1st place: Woodruff Career & Technical Center

2nd place: Technology Center of DuPage

3rd place: Oswego High School

Congratulations to the top finishers and to all of the schools who competed this year. Well done students and teachers!

Please reach out to Kari Kramer, ProStart® Program Manager at with any questions.



2019 1st Place Culinary: Technology Center of DuPage


2019 1st Place Management: Woodruff Career & Technical Center

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