Braving blustery elements at the University of New Hampshire on March 11, several dozen students from 7 high schools came together to compete at the NH State ProStart Competition. The stakes were high, as the winner represents the state at the National ProStart Competition in South Carolina in April, while individuals on each of the top three teams win scholarships.

Scholarships were provided by Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Institute of Virginia, Johnson & Wales University, Louisiana Culinary Institute, New England Culinary Institute, and The Art Institute. Sponsorships by were provided by, High Liner Foods, EcoLab, Kittredge Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, Performance Foodservice- NorthCenter, and UNH.

Pinkerton Academy fielded two teams with Team 2 winning the competition, which thrilled Pinkerton Instructor, Chef Mark Cahill.

“First place in this very competitive competition has eluded us for several years now,” he explained. “We have a good balance now with my partner Keith, a new CTE Director, and some of the best students I have had the honor and pleasure of leading through this exciting and rewarding time in their lives. Through their strength, determination, and dedication we have all become champions.”

Citing his students’ attention to every detail–right to “the bitter end”–as instrumental, he congratulated every team that competed.

“Congratulations to all of the culinary teams involved,” he added. “Each and every one of them did a phenomenal job on Saturday.”

In addition to Pinkerton, other teams involved at the competition included Concord Regional Technical Center, Creteau Regional Technology Center, Milford High School & Applied Technology Center, Mount Washington Valley Career & Technical Center, Plymouth Applied Technology Center, and Portsmouth High School.


Winner- Pinkerton Academy
2nd Place- Mount Washington Valley Career & Technical Center
3rd Place- Concord Regional Technology Center

Mike Somers, President and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association, said  this year’s competition was incredibly competitive with just 10 points separating the first and last place team.

“Every school came with focus, purpose, and a cheering squad,” he said. “We had approximately 100 people in attendance, which is an awesome turn out for NH ProStart. The New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation is so proud of the students and their teachers. All of the teams put forth an incredible amount of effort leading up to and during the competition. We wish Pinkerton Academy the best of luck at Nationals.”

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