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Tracy Kosbau
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Chili Throwdown logo
October 18, 2013

Chefs and High School Students Compete at the First Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown

Nine teams will compete for the title of ultimate chili champion at the first annual Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown on October 27th from noon to 3:00 p.m. at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan. High School ProStart® programs will be paired up with restaurants where chefs and students work together to create the ultimate chili concoction. The high school students are currently enrolled in the ProStart program at their school, focused on developing the culinary and management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The event is open to the public to taste and vote for their favorite chili and enjoy live music and a raffle. There is a suggested donation of $20 (minimum donation of $10) to attend. Tickets can purchased in advance at wirestaurant.org (click on “Chili Throwdown”) or on the day of the event at Lake Lawn Resort. All proceeds benefit the ProStart program.

The following teams will be competing in the Sizzling Chili Bowl Throwdown:

  • Badger High School/Medusa’s
  • Badger High School/Lake Geneva School of Cooking
  • Eau Claire Memorial High School/Connell’s Supper Club
  • Eau Claire Memorial High School/Draganetti's Ristorante
  • Fort Atkinson High School/ Capn's Steakhouse
  • Portage High School/ Elite Catering
  • Preble High School/Big Tomatoes
  • Pulaski High School/ Fox Valley Technical College
  • Watertown High School/ Windwood Country Club

Celebrity judges include: Chef Michael Feker from Il Mito, Gerard Prendergast from Lake Lawn Resort and Brian and Gina Frakes from The Pfister Hotel/Marcus Corporation.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation extends its sincere thanks to the following sponsors of this event:

  • ACF Geneva Lakes
  • Fox Valley Technical College ACF
  • Jeff Igel
  • Lake Lawn Resort
  • Torke Coffee
  • Vollrath
  • WRA Big Four Chapter
  • WRA West Wisconsin Chapter

The planning committee for this event consists of Russ Tronsen (chair), Jeff Igel, David Ross, Rhoda Steffel, Gregg Wozniak, Richard Busalacchi, RC Schroeder, Tom Wagner and Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation staff representatives.

The ProStart program, administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and state restaurant associations, is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them.  When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce.

Wisconsin was one of the first states in the county to pilot and implement a ProStart program and currently has 4,400 students participating in the program at 90 schools throughout the state.

To learn more about the NRAEF or ProStart program, please visit www.nraef.org/prostart. For more information on the Wisconsin ProStart program, call Alex Newman at (800) 589-3211 or visit http://wirestaurant.org/ef/prostart/index.php.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the promotion, protection and improvement of the foodservice industry. The Wisconsin Restaurant Education Foundation’s mission is to promote food service as a professional career path; attract and educate future industry leaders; and provide quality training for those already working in the industry.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960