Culinary course offers high schoolers a taste of the restaurant business

Culinary course offers high schoolers a taste of the restaurant business

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii ProStart is a new culinary curriculum that’s being taught in 12 high schools.

It exposes high school students interested in culinary careers to all aspects of the restaurant industry.

“It’s not just the culinary side. It’s also the restaurant management side. So they’re learning about profit and loss and business creation. They’re learning about marketing and resources,” said Marcus Fiske, of the Hawaii Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

ProStart began on the mainland. In Hawaii, it’s administered by HRA’s Educational Foundation.

"Our goal is really to show students that the hospitality industry is a legitimate career option," Fikse said.

At Castle High School, 50 students are taking the course and 60 will enter next year.

“The program is good because it gives students basic skills and knowledge to enter the field. It’s quite similar to what I have already been teaching, but we are incorporating more management principles,” culinary arts teacher Elise Miura said.

ProStart encourages participants to seek and complete paid internships and restaurants to mentor them. Students who complete the course can earn a ProStart Certificate of Achievement.

A certificate enables students to bypass some introductory culinary courses when they get to college.

The foundation plans to slowly add more high schools.

“That’s one of our main goals ― to assist those high schools that have less resources,” Fikse said.

This year, about 250 students are taking the ProStart course.

Next year, the Hawaii Restaurant Association Educational Foundation hopes to start a high school ProStart culinary competition.

Hawaii ProStart will hold a launch party on April 4 at the Honolulu Coffee Company.

For information and to purchase tickets click here.

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