The West High School culinary class will compete at The National ProStart Invitational in Providence, Rhode Island on April 27-28, 2018.

This self-proclaimed "Dream Team” from Waterloo West High School recently won the state’s culinary championship for the fourth straight year. The 2018 Iowa ProStart Invitational was held this past February at the Iowa Events Center, and the event was presented by the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation. It now offers them the opportunity to compete on a national stage.

But there is more than just bragging rights on the line. The top five teams from the 2018 National ProStart Invitational are awarded scholarships to help further their careers in the restaurant and food service industry. In 2017, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and leading academic institutions handed out more than $1 million in scholarships.

It also offers a great opportunity for the student-competitors to network and mingle with other like-minded students and industry professionals in attendance.

There are two areas of focus at the national competition: management and culinary. The management skills are judged based on a presentation for a full restaurant concept and problem solving skills. The culinary competition evaluates a team's creative abilities in making a three course meal, while only having two butane burners, no running water or electricity, and only 60 minutes to complete the task.

The trip will cost an estimated $9,000, and you can help pledge your support. To help send Waterloo West High's culinary team to the National ProStart Invitational, contact West High's Culinary Teacher Tracey Hulme at or call 319.433.2700. Donations are tax deductible.