High school students from across the state were recognized for their outstanding performance in culinary and management at the Nevada ProStart Invitational that was held Feb. 25-26 at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

The competition, hosted by the Nevada Restaurant Association, allowed students to showcase food safety, basic food techniques, cake decorating, knife cuts, menu design, restaurant management, basic accounting, food costing and other related skills that they’ve learned while in a two year ProStart culinary training program.

A judging panel consisting of 22 prominent figures from the Las Vegas restaurant community selected winners for five different categories including culinary, management, tiered cake decorating, buttercream cake decorating and edible arrangements.

Placing first in the culinary portion of the competition were Max Demar, Natalie Hachenberger, Christian Kivi, Dakota Martinez and Leslie Villanueva representing Carson High School.

The team’s winning menu consisted of seared ahi tuna atop pea and avocado purees accompanied by crispy slaw, lotus root and pea shoots, chicken sausage with red bell pepper sauce served over scalloped potatoes, sautéed Brussels sprouts with carrots, and a vanilla sponge cake complemented by a toasted orange meringue, cinnamon truffle and served with chocolate and raspberry sauces.

Cameron Asato, Chabelis Bolano, Selena Ice, David Nead and Haylee Stephens of Southeast Career Technical Academy secured highest honors in the restaurant management category with their “World in a Bun” management concept that focused on introducing worldly flavors to the simple burger.

Winners in the cake decorating-tiered category went to Itzel Jaimes from East Career and Technical Academy, while Carlos Pena from Southwest Career and Technical Academy took home the award for cake decorating- buttercream.

Maria Garcia Silva from Southeast Career Technical Academy was awarded first place in edible centerpiece.

Also recognized at the invitational was 2015 Teacher of the Year, Mary Ferrari from Coronado High School. The winning teams from the culinary and restaurant management categories will go onto represent Nevada in the national ProStart Invitational held April 18-20, 2015 in Anaheim, CA, where they will compete for over $1 million in scholarships and prizes.

Along with the NvRA Educational Foundation, the Nevada Restaurant Association is the leading business association in promoting and educating more than 5,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets in the Nevada restaurant industry.