Ben Barber culinary team takes second at nationals

May 15, 2023
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(Photo courtesy of Mansfield ISD)

Ben Barber Innovation Academy's Culinary Arts restaurant management team competed this weekend in Washington, D.C., in the National ProStart Invitational, earning second place out of 100 teams. This is their third win in the national competition that provides real-life experience in the restaurant industry for participating students.

Mansfield ISD's culinary arts program at BBIA is led by Chefs Jacquelyne Baker-Roberson and David Roberson. The restaurant management team advanced to the national competition after taking first place in the ProStart Regionals in March.

Since November, students have put in more than 20 hours of practice each week in preparation for the competition.

“I am so proud of their work ethic, attention to detail, professionalism, and grit,” said Baker-Roberson. “What an honor it is to work alongside such marvelous students. They represented Texas well.”

At the national competition, the BBIA restaurant management team presented their restaurant concept proposal to a panel of industry judges. Students' trouble shooting skills were also tested as they quickly solved challenges commonly faced by restaurant managers.

At the event, industry professionals across the country have offered the student competitors career opportunities within their respective specialties in the foodservice, restaurant and hospitality industry.

The top five teams from the culinary and management competitions are awarded generous educational scholarships to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. In 2022, more than $200,000 in scholarships were awarded to winning students.

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