CA ProStart Cup presented by BJ’s Restaurants

March 15 + 16, 2019

Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center

The Main Event 

The CA ProStart Cup is an electrifying event that puts high school culinary and hospitality management students to the ultimate test. Students from across the state can compete in three events: the Culinary Cup (3-course meal in 60 minutes), the Management Cup (pitch a new restaurant concept), and the Innovation Cup (new robot, app or software to improve restaurants. What’s at stake? More than $2.3 million in available scholarships and the chance to represent California at the National ProStart Invitational. The big event takes place March 15+16, 2019 in Pomona, CA.

2018 Event Program 

2018 Recap

The 2018 Champs

The state’s top student chefs and entrepreneurs went head-to-head in the 16th annual CA ProStart Cup presented by BJ’s Restaurants on March 18 + 19 at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona, CA.Innovation Cup (NEW competition!)

Innovation Cup

  1. Orange County School of the Arts (Santa Ana)
  2. San Dimas High School #2 (San Dimas)
  3. San Dimas High School #1 (San Dimas)

Culinary Cup

  1. Madison High School (San Diego)
  2. San Juan High School (Citrus Heights)
  3. Valley High School #1 (Santa Ana)

Management Cup

  1. Orange County School of the Arts (Santa Ana)
  2. San Dimas High School (San Dimas)
  3. Valley High School #2 (Santa Ana)

CA ProStart Cup 2018 Recap

The competition was fierce as students competed for more than $2.3 million in available scholarships and the chance to represent California at the National ProStart(R) Invitational April 28-30, in Providence, RI. The cross-country trip is sponsored by BJ’s Restaurants Foundation and CRAF.

In the end, Madison High School took home the top prize for culinary with a menu of ceviche, pork tenderloin stuffed with chorizo and cilantro pistou, and salted caramel cremeux. Orange County School of the Arts took home the top prize for management with their restaurant concept, “Toy Box Restaurant”, a kid-friendly restaurant serving Southern comfort food.

Orange County School of the Arts also took home the inaugural Omnivore Technologies Innovation Award for their ingredient and food allergy database app “Phone to Table”.

Event Highlights

  • Keynote speaker Jet Tila, celebrity chef and author
  • Trends + Techniques Expo presented by The Art Institutes
  • College + Career Expo with 35 exhibitors
    Ice cream sundae station (with Lyons Sweet Indulgence Sauces!)
  • 2018 California ProStart Educator of the Year James Leedy from Enterprise High School in Redding, CA
  • $12,000 in prizes to outstanding teachers, students and schools awarded by BJ’s Restaurants Foundation

Visit our Facebook page to browse photos from both days of the event.

Resources

Event Details

  • CRAF provides students with skills to succeed: leadership, responsibility, teamwork, communication.
  • The two-day competition is divided into three events: the BJ’s Restaurants Management Cup, the BJ’s Restaurants Culinary Cup and the Innovation Cup. 
  • Management teams develop and pitch a business proposal for a new restaurant concept, including a supporting menu, a marketing plan and a detailed design.
  • Culinary competition contestants prepare three courses in one hour using only two butane burners.
  • Innovation teams develop and pitch a concept for a robot, product, app or software to improve the restaurant industry.
  • First-fifth place teams also qualify for prizes and scholarships to various culinary and hospitality post-secondary programs.
  • 250 talented high school students from 30 ProStart high schools across California who represent the future of the state’s restaurant and foodservice industry.
  • More than 65 industry experts serve as judges.
  • The ProStart Cup includes a College + Career Expo, Trends + Techniques Expo and networking opportunities with industry leaders, and educational workshops.