The state’s top student chefs, entrepreneurs and innovators went head-to-head in the 16th annual CA ProStart Cup presented by BJ’s Restaurants on March 18+19 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, CA.

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 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 cevichepork 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”.

Innovation Cup (NEW competition!)

  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)

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
  • Photos from the event can be found here

The CRA Foundation supports more than 9,000 students across 134 high schools in the state through the ProStart® program. Year-round, the CRA Foundation unites the restaurant industry with the classroom through mentorships, guest speaking, fieldtrips and more. If you’re interested in getting involved, please visit www.calrestfoundation.org/getinvolved.