Orange/Ulster ProStart Students Step Up to the Plate in Philly for Food Network Star Guy Fieri's 22-City Tour

ALBANY, NY (11/18/2009)(readMedia)-- A group of five culinary students who participate in the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) Educational Foundation high school ProStart program through the Orange-Ulster Career & Tech will literally step up to the plate to help Food Network star Guy Fieri with preparations for his culinary show at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia on November 18.

As part of Fieri's 22-city national roadshow, he is inviting high school level culinary students to assist him as interns at each of his shows. Students will conduct prep work and stand by to assist Guy where necessary. Because Pennsylvania does not participate in the ProStart program, show organizers reached out to New York, which does. Participating students include Shelby Laing, Ryan Chatfield, Christopher Brescia, Lisa DiBona and James Grieco

The ProStart program operates in 47 states, in over 1,000 schools, involving approximately 78,000 students and well over 5,000 educators. In New York State the ProStart program presently operates in 52 schools, involving over 1000 students and well over 100 educators and introduces the student to a comprehensive hospitality industry program at the 11th and 12th grade level.

The disciplined program includes the following components: 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.

"Guy's focus on involving ProStart students in his shows is fantastic. He is a culinary hero students can look up to and the experience he is providing is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Rick Sampson, President of the New York State Restaurant Association.

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The New York State Restaurant Association, founded in 1935, is the leading business association for the restaurant and hospitality industry in New York State. Comprised of more than 56,000 restaurants, bars, clubs, New York restaurants represent more than 628,000 employees and sales of approximately $27 billion. Along with the New York State Restaurant Association and New York State Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, NYSRA and its chapters work to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing hospitality industry. For more information, visit