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EFE Culinary Arts Students Earn First-Place at the Michigan ProStart Competition

Education for Employment (EFE) Culinary Arts students earned first-place in the Management discipline at the Michigan ProStart Competition in Lansing on March 18.

Idris Cox of Kalamazoo Central High School, Skiy Ewing from Vicksburg High School and Cris Smith of Portage Northern High School will head to Washington, D.C. next month to compete in the 18th Annual National ProStart Invitational.

The EFE team’s winning restaurant concept of a food truck which offers healthy alternatives to everyday foods. The signature sandwich, Straight Out of Cuba, provided judges with a creative spin on the classic sandwich. Additionally, the food truck concept was very personal to the team since they each lost loved ones as a result of poor food choices.

“These talented students are the future of our industry and we’re proud this technical program helps to provide them with a direct pipeline to very meaningful and rewarding careers,” said Justin Winslow, President & CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Attended by 57 teams and more than 200 students, the competition was judged by top industry professionals, as well as leading college and university instructors.

 “As this was our second year participating in the State ProStart competition, I think it would be fair to say that we were the underdogs who didn’t know we were the underdogs. These students travel from all over Kalamazoo County, so they spend less time in our class than their competitors from traditional career centers,” said Chef Kharen Shelton, EFE Culinary Arts instructor. “I challenged my students to determine what they wanted out of the competition experience and they decided they wanted to win. That’s exactly what they did.”

Congratulations students and we wish you the best of luck as you compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the Culinary Arts program on the Education for Employment website.