News

Texas ProStart Ignites Student Passion

Mar 16
2015

History has shown that Texas ProStart students are not what you typically envision when you think "high school student." They are disciplined. They are passionate. They care about cooking up a successful future. Kyle Chase, a senior at Byron Nelson High School is no exception. Kyle has had a passion for cooking for as long as he can remember. He knew he wanted to pursue culinary arts in high school but since he does not live in the Byron Nelson High School district, so he had to apply to attend and enroll in the Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality. Within the first two weeks of starting culinary class, Kyle and his classmates received their ServSafe certification, a food handler certification which is accepted in every state in the nation and valid for two years. "The material is intimidating and rigorous and we take lots of tests but its information I can carry with me wherever I go in my career." He expected classes to allow him to cook everyday, however he discovered the Texas ProStart curriculum also teaches the foundations of restaurant management. "That's what the industry is about€¦not just cooking." As the school year progressed, Kyle found himself consistently putting in 12-hour days starting with football practice at 6 a.m. then staying to 6 p.m. catering events with the Texas ProStart class. "I made the decision to drop all other extracurricular activities to truly be where I wanted to be and be the best at culinary." Culinary instructor, Chef Joseph Maher has cultivated Kyle's passion for the industry. "From the first day I shook his hand he said €˜Kyle be a leader.' No one has ever really told me anything like that. He's the first person to truly see potential and embrace my goals as his own to help me get me there." By working with chefs who come from the industry, Texas ProStart students see how the curriculum is launching them toward success in the industry. "Chef Maher wasn't creating dishes like this when he was my age and wasn't creating restaurant concepts as teenager. Kyle and his team will be competing at the Texas ProStart Invitational state finals in Waco later this month.We wish them great luck at competition and wherever their futures take them! Texas ProStart, an industry-based culinary arts and restaurant management program and curriculum produced by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation is offered in 220+ high schools and reaches more than 20,000 students each year.

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