Kids cook the darndest things.

In the restaurant industry, when we hear a story about a CEO of a major restaurant chain starting off as a bus boy or a renowned chef learning how to cook at his or her first food service job, we are inspired. Yet, these stories of success are not necessarily remarkable. The restaurant industry provides the perfect platform for people to realize the “American Dream,” and we couldn’t be prouder to play some part in that process.

The National Restaurant Association put together this video about the “Industry of Opportunity,” and if you get through it without watery eyes, you’re a stronger person than we are.

All of this is to say that, as restaurant supporters, innovators, experts and insiders, we have a responsibility to perpetuate this unique cycle by fostering future generations and their career endeavors.

And, we just so happen to know how you can do it, too.

The 2011 Second Annual ProStart Invitational culinary competition is just around the corner. Houston’s regional contest will be held January 29 at Westside High School and the state-wide contest will be held in Austin on March 5. Winners will then proceed to the national ProStart Invitational in Overland Park, Kansas, on April 29.

So where do you come in? Those interested can sign up to sponsor or even participate in judging. Additionally, we are seeking volunteers in all of the following areas: registration, student lounge monitors, plate check-out, sanitation station, chicken/meat distribution, check in assistant/plate escorts, timers/guides, monitors, tabulators and media escorts. And at the very least, you can show up at the competition to encourage the young chefs and watch them put their culinary skills to the test. It’s like our very own Top Chef in real life!

Last year’s inaugural competition was a resounding success, and we believe 2011 will be even better. But, we can’t do it without you! Please do your part to make this opportunity for our industry’s youth even brighter.

For more information, contact or call us at 713.802.1200.


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