Regular readers may recall that Guy Fieri attended the Prostart Invitational in San Diego, April of 2009. The event was filmed by his production company, Ragtop Productions.
The resulting show, Guy Fieri’s Top of the Class, is scheduled to premiere Saturday, December 5, 2009, on the Food Network.
This behind-the-scenes special reveals what happens when aspiring teenage chefs gather in San Diego, Calif., for one of the toughest youth culinary competitions in the country – the National ProStart Invitational. Thirty-nine teams compete for almost $1.1 million in cash, prizes and scholarships. Guy Fieri hosts as the students race to complete a three-course meal before the hour runs out.
Bert Cutino, chef and co-founder of the Sardine Factory restaurant in Monterey, California is one of the judges.
The ProStart program operates in 47 states, in over 1,000 schools, involving approximately 78,000 students and well over 5,000 educators. It includes mentoring, paid internships, promoting entrepreneurship, basic business skill development, nationally certified exams, scholarships, state and national competitions and post-secondary opportunities in the form of articulation agreements with culinary and hospitality programs throughout the U.S. with the purpose of generating qualified and capable professionals for today and the future.
As part of the current Guy Fieri Road Show, Guy has invited high school level culinary students to assist him as interns at each of his shows. Students will conduct prep work, mise en place, and stand by to assist Guy where necessary.
The students say they can relate to Guy Fieri, and that he, in turn, can relate to the next generation of chefs. Matthew Capprini, 18, said that he gets some of his culinary ideas from watching "Guy's Big Bite."
"I'm proud to represent our school and be there to kick off Guy's tour," said Capprini.
Chosen students are excited to participate. A Prostart instructor said the students started shrieking and jumping up and down. "I kept repeating, 'Oh man, I can't believe this is happening,'" said senior Kyle Briggs, 17, of Amesbury.
“The Michigan Restaurant Association contacted us, and we certainly weren’t going to say no,” said chef Corbett Day, hospitality and culinary arts instructor at the LISD Tech Center. "This will look good on college applications.”
“Guy loves ProStart and is very excited to be able to have the kids help him out,” Amanda Smith, a spokeswoman for Fieri, wrote in her e-mail contacting Day.
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