Weekly Feature

2018-01-31 / Education

Area high school students to compete in 14th annual Taste of Education

The WNY Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association has announced the return of the Taste of Education — a friendly culinary competition featuring local high school students pursuing a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The event, themed “Pasta — Knock Down With Noodles” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Road, Depew.

Attendees will sample some gastronomy from students of the ProStart program and in the process will learn more about the culinary and hospitality scene in WNY.

ProStart is a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow's restaurant and food service leaders.

The WNY Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association uses all proceeds from the event to fund scholarships for local culinary students. Since the inception of the Taste of Education event, more than $100,000 in scholarships have been awarded to local students to continue their education in the hospitality field.

Participating schools will also receive $1,500 per team toward the statewide ProStart Invitational Competition, to be held in March at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Tickets to the Taste of Education are $25 and can be purchased via eventbrite.com or by emailing WNYchapter.info@gmail.com. Rob Lederman, owner of Rob’s Comedy Playhouse, will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies.

The event consists of food station samplings set up throughout the ballroom with creations from each school’s culinary team, as well as raffles. The winner will be determined by a people’s choice vote. The event also includes an Iron Chef competition.

The judges for the competition will be Patrick Kaler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara; Scott Levin, Melissa Holmes and Pete Gallivan, WGRZ news anchors; and Gina Browning, chief communications officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Erie County.

Tickets include all culinary samplings, and there will be a cash bar on site. For more information, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tasteofeducation.

The New York State Restaurant Association is an organization that focuses on helping restaurateurs succeed by offering advocacy, education and cost-saving benefits. It acts as a liaison with regulatory agencies that govern the commercial food-service industry, as a “legislative watchdog,” and as the official voice of the food-service industry.

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