Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ProStart competition tests high schools students' culinary skills

Delaware Public Media works with aspiring high school journalists across the state through our youth media program Generation Voice.

Over the coming weeks, we are featuring work produced by Polytech High School students Claire Austin and Shaun Hicks, including this story on the recent ProStart high school culinary competition


Delaware’s top high school culinary teams recently faced off at the 10th annual ProStart Student invitational at Bally’s Dover Casino Resort. Teams from 13 high schools from across the state put their skills to the test in the day-long competition.

“We have over 400 people here today with 15 culinary teams participating and 11 management teams,” said ProStart’s Carrie Leishman. “On the culinary side, you’re cooking a three-course meal on two Bunsen burners in a pressure situation, in under an hour. On the management side, they’re developing restaurant concepts and they’re presenting that to a team of management judges.”

Many of these high schools including POLYTECH have been working diligently for the awaited competition day.

“Students use their problem solving skills, their critical thinking skills, they definitely use their kitchen skills, their knife skills, cooking methods, it’s all there” said POLYTECH’S culinary instructor Christopher Schultz. “And they are working with teams so it’s teamwork, conflict resolution, communication, cooking, knife skills, so we’re really teaching students to be really great citizens going forward in the world just because of this competition.”

At stake during the competition was roughly $2.5 million in scholarship awards that went to the first, second, and third place teams.

But Shultz says the experience alone has something to offer too.

“My favorite part is always seeing how creative the kids are. I’m always blown away by the level of food the schools end up putting out.”

After hours of competition, Cape Henlopen High School took home the win for management and Caesar Rodney High School was crowned winner of the culinary contest, earning the title for the fourth year in a row.

But win or lose, this competition is a great way to cook up skills that will last a lifetime.