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National Restaurant Association - Former ProStart winner recruits for culinary school

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Former ProStart winner recruits for culinary school


Kealan O'Boyle made his fourth appearance at the National ProStart Invitational this weekend.

As a high school junior, he was on the second-place culinary team in 2009. The following year, his team from Olathe North High School won first place. Last year, he was home on break from the New England Culinary Institute when the National ProStart Invitational was in Kansas City.

And this year, he's recruiting potential students for the New England Culinary Institute. The Montpelier, Vt., college is among the schools that will be offering scholarships at Sunday's awards ceremony. The 350 students participating in the culinary and management competitions are eligible for more than $1.3 million in scholarships from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Plus, "I wanted to support my high school," which competed in the culinary and management competitions this weekend in Baltimore. The school has particpated in at least eight National ProStart Invitationals.

"I thought we did a good job when I was on the first-place team," O'Boyle says. "But [Olathe's 2012 culinary team] was flawless."

Attending ProStart as an observer was a completely different experience than competing, he says. As a competitor, he was nervous, excited and focused on cooking. Afterward, every word from the judges repeatedly endlessly in his mind until he learned the results. This weekend was mere fun.

Yet, O'Boyle had another reason for being in Baltimore this weekend. He recently spent two days working at Volt restaurant in Frederick, Md., where Chef/Owner Bryan Voltaggio offered him a job.



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