The fall of ProStart


 An example of food cooked by students in the Foods II class taught by Chef Stolfo. Students learn about global foods and create dishes from various regions to enjoy (Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Stocum).


For those that don’t know, ProStart is the advanced culinary class offered at Leesville. After taking Foods I and II, students can apply for this class as well as an afterschool internship. The class is a great way to advance your cooking skills as well as explore different food cultures.

Students get the opportunity to compete in a cooking competition in February. Competitors began preparing back in December, choosing a theme and preparing a three course meal which they will cook at the competition. They must cook without an oven and running water, challenging students to think outside of the box. 

Last year, Leesville offered ProStart I and II, a class in the fall and spring semester taught by Chef Goins, or Chef G. Not enough students signed up for ProStart II, so they only offered ProStart I.

This semester though, ProStart I was cancelled as only 8 students signed up. Karis Mccann, junior, was one of the students signed up for the class.

“I was shocked and very disappointed that it was cancelled and when I heard the reason it was even worse. I was excited to learn more about cooking and work with different people that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for ProStart,” said Mccann

Aurora Ellsworth, junior, had a similar reaction Mccann when she found out the class was cancelled.

“I’m most disappointed for my future plans for future classes being a bit skewed now. I was…excited about getting a free class that would help to get me where I wanted to go career wise,” said Ellsworth.

Not much is known about the future of ProStart besides the fact that students who enrolled for spring semester aren’t able to take it. Instead, the school is researching other Culinary and Hospitality options.

“The most disappointing thing is having to take a different class than it and not being able to even take Foods II second semester, so my schedule wouldn’t get flipped,” said Mccann.

Although the future of the advanced culinary classes offered at Leesville is unknown, the legacy ProStart left will be sure to provide stepping stones for students to excel on.



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