A team of Meadowcreek High School students and their teacher earned top honors in the 2018 Hospitality Foundation of Georgia (HEFG) ProStart State Championship. Wayne Miles, Carlos Barboza, Jorge Narvaez, Jose Martinez and Arturo Perez won the Culinary Arts state title. The team’s teacher, Chef Simone Byron, won the 2018 ProStart Teacher of the Year award.
Byron said receiving the award is humbling saying, “The Educator of Excellence Award is a complete honor and being a part of the lives of such wonderful young adults is just amazing. I’ve been given the opportunity to build on my talents in the Meadowcreek family, and hard work always pays off. I am definitely thankful for the opportunity to guide my outstanding students on our humble journey to ProStart Nationals”
The culinary student teams had one hour to butcher a chicken, demonstrate five precision knife cuts, and then create a three-course fine dining meal. The management teams partnered with big brands such as Chick-fil-A and Waffle House to develop menu items representative of the brand. Students had to cost the menu to be mass produced; demonstrate how it aligns with current menu offerings, and develop a marketing strategy to introduce the item to the public.
Byron says the team’s success wouldn’t be possible without the support of the school district. “Gwinnett County Public Schools has positioned world-class leadership, resources and opportunities for myself and my students to achieve greatness,” Bryon said. “Meadowcreek U exemplifies the outcome forward thinking, academic rigor and student achievement. We are so excited to represent Georgia and Gwinnett County on a national platform.”
The HEFG State Championships attracts high school juniors and seniors from schools throughout the state to compete in Culinary Arts or Management. Participating in ProStart prepares students for real-world scenarios in the restaurant industry and leads to post-high school culinary careers. Every student who competed received valuable feedback from industry leaders and the winners earned thousands of dollars in scholarships to further their careers. Chef Byron and her students will go on to represent Georgia at the national competition in Providence, R.I, on April 27-29.