Twenty-two high schools are sending 35 teams, a total of 175 culinary and restaurant management students to the first 2015 Texas ProStart Invitational regional competition January 24 at the Hurst Conference Center. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $7 per person. Produced by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, this is the first of two regional competitions, leading up to the state finals in March. "The Texas ProStart Invitational competitions are a €˜must attend' for anyone who has an interest in the future of our industry. Talented high school students from all over the state come to the competition to represent their school and themselves in either the Culinary or Management category," said Gary Johnson, Magic Time Machine Restaurants, San Antonio and chairman of the TRA Education Foundation. "To see the talent, enthusiasm, and promise of these students is completely energizing for me and makes me feel very secure about the future of our industry. These are tomorrow's restaurateurs and they will amaze you with their level of understanding and passion for what they are doing and with the skills they routinely demonstrate. Come out and see our future in action!" The Texas ProStart Invitational is in its sixth year and is one of the largest of the state ProStart competitions in the country with more than 300 students competing in two regional competitions for a chance to represent Texas at the National ProStart Invitational. All schools competing are part of Texas ProStart, an industry-based culinary arts and hospitality program and curriculum. Teams compete in either the restaurant management or culinary category and the top six teams from each category advance to the Texas ProStart Invitational State Final in March. Culinary teams demonstrate knife skills, develop and price a three course menu and then prepare those menu items in 60 minutes. Judges evaluate creativity, plate presentation, taste, team work, professionalism, and safety and sanitation. Restaurant management teams develop and present a business proposal for a new restaurant concept that includes a defined concept, supporting menu and marketing plan. Teams prepare a comprehensive written proposal, verbal presentation and visual display and are tested on their critical thinking skills by reacting to potential management challenges. The 2015 Texas ProStart Invitational is sponsored by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Ben E. Keith Foodservice, Ecolab, BJ's Restaurant, Auto-Chlor, Les Dames d'Escoffier and the Texas Beef Council.