Restaurant management

Rochester Public School Restaurant Management Students Recognized in ProStart Competition

For immediate release
From left, Superintendent Kyle Repucci, Junior Damien Campbell, Seniors Samantha Freeman and Wyatt Ebare, Teacher Victoria Garay, Senior Bradley Silcocks, Teacher Deborah Weymouth, and Director of Career Technology Training Michele Halligan-Foley at the New Hampshire ProStart Invitational in Concord. (Photo courtesy of Rochester Public Schools)

ROCHESTER — Superintendent Kyle Repucci and Director of Vocational Technical Training Michele Halligan-Foley are proud to announce that students from the RW Creteau Regional Technology Center have been recognized in a restaurant management competition across the the state.

Students in the restaurant management program participated in the New Hampshire ProStart State Invitational, an annual competition in which participating teams demonstrate their abilities by planning a three-course meal, obtaining ingredients while tracking costs, and then preparing the meal in 60 minutes for a panel of judges who evaluate taste, skill, teamwork, safety and hygiene.

The Rochester team was recognized for safety and sanitation.

The students began preparing for the competition in November, practicing twice a week to develop their communication skills and teamwork while honing the skills they learned along their career path.

The competition — the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began — was held March 8 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, with students from across the state competing.

Each participating student is given a task as the group works together to design a menu, ensure they have the right ingredients, that the ingredients are properly handled and stored, and that all dishes have been costed.

Students then prepare dishes from their menu in a timed 60-minute competition, working together to create plates to taste and present.

“The ProStart Invitational requires students to demonstrate effective teamwork and communication skills in addition to all the more technical skills they learn, and we are proud that our students’ performance has been recognized by experts at industry who served on the judging panel,” the director said. Halligan-Foley. “The contest students have to do everything on their own, and I was impressed when visiting the contest to see how well the students answered some difficult questions.”

Students who entered the competition said it was a challenge, but also a valuable learning experience.

“I learned that working in a team and using good communication skills isn’t as difficult as it first seems,” said senior Samantha Freeman.

Damien Campbell, a junior, said the experience helped him learn how to keep his station clean even when working fast and under pressure.

“I learned how to connect with people,” said Wyatt Ebare, senior. “I also learned to accept constructive criticism.”

Senior Bradley Silcocks said the competition also showed him that challenges can be overcome with commitment and perseverance.

“It’s easier said than done, but with hard work it can be done,” Silcocks said.

“The restaurant management program teaches students professional skills that go far beyond just cooking. The program prepares students for a career in industry or a career in running a business, and we cover all aspects of business from front to back of home,” said Superintendent Repucci. “I am proud of the performance of our students and their ability to put their skills to good use in a competitive environment.