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. 5 at Circus Circus, Reno.

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 15 prominent figures from the Nevada restaurant community selected winners for four different categories including culinary, management, buttercream cake decorating and edible arrangements.

Placing first in the culinary portion of the competition were Sal Huerta, John Matthew Esquerra, Sonia Valencia, Kendall Young-Dennis and Ashley Castillo representing Silverado High School.

The team’s winning menu consisted of shrimp ceviche, guacamole, red quinoa, red pepper rouille, and hand-made tortilla chips, followed by pan-seared lamb rack accompanied by collard greens, tomatillo sauce, potato and plantain cakes, and pimenton and a coconut rum flan with churro crust, hibiscus sauce, whipped cream, cardamom and mint.

Lauren Morell, Cole Minnick, Maurice Seebeck and Matthew Williams of Silverado High School secured highest honors in the restaurant management category with their “Indulge” management concept.

Winner in the cake decorating-buttercream category went to Mark Joseff Ferreras from McQueen High School, while Amber Clark from North Valleys took home the award for Edible Centerpiece.

Also recognized at the invitational was 2016 Nevada Teacher of the Year, Barbara Orrell from North Valleys High School, 2016 Mentor of the year Clint Jolly and 2016 student of the year Leslie Villanueva from Carson High School.

The winning teams from the culinary and restaurant management categories will go on to represent Nevada in the national ProStart Invitational held April 29-May 1, 2016 in Grapevine, Texas, where they will compete for 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.