Baltimore and Howard County students take top honors at State Championships

March 13, 2008 |

(Columbia, MD) On Wednesday March 5, 2008 the Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation (MHEF) held the 4th annual Maryland ProStart Student Invitational at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Maryland. 20 high schools competed in the team culinary competition while there were 10 in the team management competition and quiz bowl. However, only one team could come out on top in each competition.

The team from the Howard County Applications and Research Laboratory took first place in the culinary competition under the direction of chef instructor Elaine Heilman. Their menu consisted of a Maryland Crab Empanada, Bacon wrapped Muscovy Duck Torchon and a Saffron Ginger Panna Cotta. Team members Ryan Meliker, Kara Lovalvo, Alexander Morris, Tyler Weedon and alternate Eric Olean had been working on and perfecting this menu for months leading up to the competition.

“We did it again!” exclaimed Heilman when the Howard County ARL was announced as the winner in front of over 400 people at the awards dinner ceremony held after the competition. Last year, the Howard County ARL won first place in the same competition and went on to place 5th in the country at the National ProStart Student Invitational. The Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation will pay all the expenses necessary to send the team to the national competition which will be held in San Diego, California in late April. The Carver Center for the Arts in Baltimore County and Sherwood High School in Montgomery County placed second and third, respectively, in the culinary competition.

The Management Competition consisted of a hospitality case study and quiz bowl in which the first place honors went to the Carver Center for the Arts in Baltimore County. MHEF will also be paying the expenses necessary to send the Carver Center team to the national competition. The management team members are Monica Preibisch, Brittany Goldman, Maree Kate Rogers, Andrew Bridge and alternate Brina Furman. Their instructor, Bette Mullins, also instructed the team that placed 2nd in the culinary competition. High Point High School placed second in the management competition while National Academy Foundation High School in Baltimore City placed third in their first year competing.

Over $750,000 in scholarship packages were available to the top three teams competing in the Invitational. Platinum Scholarship Sponsor McCormick and Culinary Competition Sponsor Whole Foods Market, each provided $500 scholarships to all the students on the first place teams that are transferable to any school. At the National ProStart Invitational in April these teams will represent Maryland and compete for even more scholarship money, prizes and national bragging rights

The ProStart program is a high school culinary and hospitality management curriculum that also requires paid industry work experience in order to receive a ProStart National Certificate of Achievement. Students completing the ProStart program are qualified to enter the workforce in positions above entry level and are on a fast track to management careers. ProStart is endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education and also prepares students for post secondary education at culinary schools and hospitality management programs.

For more information on the 2008 Maryland ProStart Student Invitational or to find out more on the upcoming National ProStart Invitational, please contact Marshall Weston or LaDeana Litchfield at 1-800-874-1313.
The Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation (MHEF) is a nonprofit organization that works with the Restaurant Association of Maryland to educate the hospitality workforce of Maryland. MHEF offers certifications in food safety and responsible alcohol service along with server and hospitality management training. MHEF also supports the 75 schools in Maryland using the ProStart program, a culinary and hospitality management curriculum for high school students that is endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education. More information on MHEF can be found at
Email me