CA ProStart Cup Winners & Highlights

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The state’s top student entrepreneurs, chefs, and innovators went head-to-head in the 17th annual CA ProStart Cup presented by BJ’s Restaurants on March 15+16 in Pomona, CA.

The competition was fierce as students competed for major scholarships. Taco Bell and BJ’s Restaurants will send the winners on the cross-country trip to represent California and compete at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C. in May.

Winning Menu

Madison High School took home the gold for their menu of dungeness crab gribiche salad, trout en crepinette, and blood orange mascarpone bavarian.

Fun Fact: their team mentor, Chef Andrew Reyes, competed in the 2005 National ProStart Invitational!

Winning Restaurant

Students from OCSA wowed judges with their pitch for a new restaurant “Nostal-Jerk” (nostalgia + soda jerk). It’s a classic soda fountain in modern times. Their tagline: “Established in 1929 + 90 Years!”

Winning Innovation

Student from San Dimas High School developed Star Box, a mix between mobile ordering and drive-thru. The insulated and refrigerated boxes hold mobile orders at the drive-thru. Customers simply unlock the box with a QR code.

BJ’s Restaurants Culinary Cup

  1. Madison High School (San Diego)
  2. Pacifica High School (Oxnard)
  3. San Dimas High School (San Dimas)

BJ’s Restaurants Management Cup

  1. Orange County School of the Arts (Santa Ana)
  2. Bonita High School (La Verne)
  3. Leuzinger High School (Lawndale)

Wurstküche Innovation Cup 

  1. San Dimas High School (San Dimas)
  2. San Diego High School (San Diego)
  3. John A. Rowland High School (Rowland Heights)

Event Highlights

  • 4 alumni made a surprise appearance during Saturday’s Awards Reception to thank Rob DeLiema, president of BJ’s Restaurants Foundation for life-changing scholarships
  • Keynote speaker Penny Davidi, celebrity chef
  • College + Career Expo with 35 exhibitors
  • 2019 California ProStart Educator of the Year Brian Murphy from San Diego High School
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