WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 200 teachers from high schools and career and technical centers across the nation are taking advantage of their summer break to hone their culinary and restaurant management instruction skills at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's (NRAEF) Summer Institutes, a series of weeklong professional development workshops launched on June 12 and held at culinary schools throughout the U.S.
The NRAEF Summer Institutes offer educators the opportunity to learn from nationally recognized faculty, network with their peers, tour restaurant and foodservice facilities and receive classroom materials. This professional development allows educators to apply what they've learned to their classroom and connect the restaurant industry to thousands of students.
Four different workshop levels cover a range of knowledge and skills, from an overview of the restaurant industry and culinary and management essentials in Level 1 to particular skill mastery, global cuisine and marketing and menu development, in Level 3. Level 4 is a spotlight series with topics that include farm-to-plate menus, artisan bread baking and chocolate. Educators who complete Levels 1 through 3, document recent industry work experience and submit model lesson plans, earn the Certified Secondary Foodservice Educator credential.
Since 2002, Darden Restaurants has supported the NRAEF and its mission to enhance the restaurant industry's service to the public through education, community engagement, and promotion of career opportunities. Darden's funding also helps support ProStart, a national secondary school program that introduces students to career opportunities in the restaurant industry and provides them with an industry-driven curriculum on topics ranging from culinary techniques to management skills. Nearly 140,000 students in all 50 states are enrolled in the ProStart program.
"The NRAEF's Summer Institutes give educators the skills they need – whether it's restaurant management principles, food safety essentials or advanced pastry techniques – to continuously improve their courses," said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. "We are grateful for the Darden Restaurants Foundation's longstanding support that has not only helped teachers' professional development, but has in turn allowed students to gain the skills they need to succeed in the restaurant industry."
Stephanie Ghertner, director of the Darden Restaurants Foundation, said: "It's an honor for Darden to support the professional development and education of ProStart teachers. By contributing to the Summer Institutes, we are directly supporting some of the best culinary educators – and the future top chefs and foodservice professionals – in the nation."
ProStart is a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the next generation of managers and leaders in the restaurant and foodservice industry. For more information on the ProStart program, visit NRAEF.org/ProStart or find us on Twitter or Facebook.
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry's service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to provide a record 14.4 million jobs, making it the nation's second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.
About the Darden Restaurants Foundation
Since 1995, the Darden Restaurants Foundation has awarded more than $75 million in grants to organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) and the NRAEF. Darden supports the NRAEF and its mission to enhance the restaurant industry's service to the public through education, community engagement, and promotion of career opportunities.
Their funding helps support ProStart, a national high school program that introduces students to career opportunities in the restaurant industry and provides them with an industry-driven curriculum on topics ranging from culinary techniques to management skills.
Darden also sponsors NRAEF Summer Institutes, which are a series of intensive workshops that provide ProStart educators with a forum to learn cutting-edge skills to take back to the classroom, as well as educator and student scholarships. For more, visit https://www.darden.com/citizenship/people/community-involvement#foundation.
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SOURCE National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation