PCTI culinary arts students win ProStart state championship

April 4th, 2018

PCTI’s Culinary team students Maricela Pina (Passaic), Melany Estrada (Clifton), Theo Chambliss (Paterson), Aden Lewin (Wayne), and Mya Organisciak (Hawthorne) celebrate their first place NJ ProStart State win.

A team of Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) culinary arts students has won the 2018 New Jersey state ProStart championship.

Later this year, they will represent the state at the 17th Annual National ProStart Invitational in Providence, RI.

Teammates Theo Chambliss, Melany Estrada, Aden Lewin, Mya Organisciak, and Maricela Pina will put their skills to the test by preparing gourmet food in a time-crunch setting, with menu items that have been meticulously perfected over the last few months.

In addition to this outstanding win, PCTI’s culinary management team brought home the silver award at the ProStart state competition.

PCTI’s culinary management team members Carolan Terrero (Paterson), La’Dasia McClam (Paterson), Nicholas Buttacavoli (Hawthorne), Shania Medina (Prospect Park), and Riya Rana (Passaic) celebrate their second place win at the NJ ProStart State competition.

ProStart is a nationally-recognized, two-year program for high school students that educates and develops those students into future leaders of the restaurant and hospitality industry.  In New Jersey, the program operates under the auspices of the New Jersey Restaurant Education Foundation.

According to the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association’s web site, “(the) comprehensive program not only teaches students culinary techniques, but it also teaches students important management skills.   The program is designed to prepare students for the industry.  By bringing real world experience to the classroom, the students are often hired by culinary leaders fresh out of high school.”

​This curriculum is recognized by over 60 different culinary arts and hospitality management colleges and universities throughout the country, including Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University.

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