Raising Canes announces winners of ProStart Invitational

Local News

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF), in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), hosted the 18th Annual Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers Louisiana ProStart® Invitational, at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

Raising Cane’s, under a new multi-year partnership, was the title sponsor of the event.

The Management Competition featured the conceptual restaurant development and marketing ingenuity of ProStart students from 10 high schools, and the Culinary Competition showcased culinary and creative talents of ProStart students from 22 high schools. 

Teams participating in the Management Competition demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by developing a restaurant concept, including the menu, design, budget and marketing strategies, which they presented to a panel of judges as an entrepreneur would pitch to a group of investors.

The winner of the Management Competition was:

West Feliciana High School, St. Francisville

Instructor: Amy Dreher

Students: Lora Lathrop, Lilly Ray, Amelia Percy and Caroline Smith

Winning restaurant concept: The Med — a casual, full service restaurant that serves a variety of cuisine influenced by countries lining the Mediterranean, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

Second place management:

Hammond High Magnet School, Hammond

Instructor: Angelina Drago

Students: Khloe Chen, Ty Donley, Shanyce Lazarte

Third place management:

Sulphur High School, Sulphur

Instructor: Jacob Gillett

Students: Sadie Seilhan and Kaitlyn MacNamara

During the Culinary Competitionteams demonstrated their creative abilities through the preparation of a three-course, gourmet meal in 60 minutes.

The winner of the Culinary Competition was:

Abbeville High School, Abbeville

Instructor: Devin Romero

Students: Deion Williams, Macy Vice, Alexis Bergeron and Mikaila Bolden

Winning menu: Appetizer- crawfish boulettes, fried crispy and served with creole dipping sauce; Entrée pan fried, crusted cod topped with pepper jelly-glaze shrimp with a side of mashed sweet potatoes; and Dessert- sautéed apples fried in wontons and served with hot chocolate ice cream, drizzled with a brown sugar sauce.

Second place culinary:

Sulphur High School, Sulphur

Instructor: Jacob Gillett

Students: Gracee LaFleur, Anna Candler, Sadie Seilhan, Kaitlyn MacNamara and Arean Ericson

Third place culinary:

Hammond High Magnet School, Hammond

Instructor: Angelina Drago

Students: Khloe Chen, J’naudia Francis, Christin Galaforo, Peter Mai, & Trenten Oliphant

Chef Mentor: Savannah Hall and Francisco Esqueda

West Feliciana High School and Abbeville High School will represent Louisiana in the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C., May 8-10, 2019, where they will compete for more than $1 million in additional scholarships.

Schools were also recognized for their individual achievements in various categories within the two competitions.


  • Judges’ Award- Restaurant Concept: Hammond High School — Chen’s Noodle World
  • Judges’ Award- Critical Thinking: Sulphur High School — The Cheese Wheel
  • Judges’ Award- Verbal Presentation: West Feliciana High School — The Med
  • Judges’ Award- Marketing: Hammond High School — Chen’s Noodle World
  • Judges’ Award- Operations: West Feliciana High School — The Med


  • Safety & Sanitation Award: North Vermilion High School
  • Teamwork Award: Hammond High Magnet School
  • Judges’ Pick- Appetizer: Sulphur High School- Pan-seared scallops, tarragon-shallot aioli, garnished with a pear spring mix
  • Judges’ Pick- Entrée: Abbeville High School- Grilled cod & spicy shrimp
  • Judges’ Pick- Dessert: Chalmette High School- Coconut Chantilly cake

Special thanks their event partners: Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Freeman Decorating, New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Capitol City Produce, ProChef, PJ’s Coffee and Centerplate.

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