There are many factors that contribute to success in a specialized field. Aside from education, commitment and plenty of practice, mentorship is one of the most significant ways to develop and establish yourself within your industry.
ProStart is once such program that offers just that. It’s a two-year high school program that strives to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. Saz’s is proud to be a supporter, as well as a member of this exciting program offering instruction, encouragement and insight to those interested in a career in the culinary world!
Under the direction of the National Restaurant Association, ProStart works with nearly 140,000 students across the country who have shown an interest in the culinary field and want to develop their skills and gain more insight into the industry.
Saz’s Catering’s very own Executive Chef, Brian Taborksi, has been involved with ProStart for a number of years and lends his considerable cooking experience and industry knowledge to help students achieve their goals and succeed in this ever-changing landscape.
It’s no surprise that Chef Brian would take such an active interest in the program as he credits his own success and advancement to strong mentors throughout his career. He got his first taste of the industry working at an Italian restaurant at the age of 14 and it was this experience that motivated him to enroll in culinary school right of out high school.
Throughout 2017, Chef Brian worked with a select group of Cudahy High School students to hone their skills, teach them new techniques and develop their ability to plan and execute complex menus. In 2017, his team took home a huge win with their autumn venison chili at the ProStart Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown.
Chef Brian spent weeks leading up to the event working with his team of four to perfect their grand prize winning recipe. Their elevated take on a classic comfort dish not only impressed the judges, but also many of the staff at Saz’s Catering!
After his initial win, Chef Brian spent months working with Bri, Lefonte, Rosa, Melanie and Cody from Cudahy High to plan and develop a three-course menu for the Wisconsin ProStart Invitational that took place at the Midwest Foodservice Expo on March 13th, 2018.
The team had just one hour to prepare their menu that featured Scallops Crudo, Tournedos Rossini and a Chocolate Hazelnut Clafouti.
The Wisconsin ProStart Invitational brought 22 teams together from across the state to compete in this quick-paced challenge and were judged on knife skills, teamwork, cleanliness, safety, menu presentation, and of course, taste. Chef Brian’s Cudahy High team took second place in Culinary and won Best Beef Entrée!
To receive such recognition is an incredible accomplishment for these kids and everyone involved. The team already has plans to continue working together in support of ProStart Wisconsin and we can’t wait to see what they cook up next!
The ProStart program is a great way for Saz’s Hospitality Group to be involved in the development and support of young aspiring chefs in the Milwaukee community.
It’s an opportunity for us to provide expert instruction and insight into what it takes to succeed in the industry. Who knows, we might have some future Saz’s culinary all-stars in our midst!
If you’d like to learn more about ProStart or you are interested in becoming an advocate or mentor, please visit ProStart’s Industry Involvement page.