Project Taste Test – Servin' Up Successful Careers, a new initiative launched by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), showcases career opportunities in the foodservice sector. Partnering with PepsiCo Foodservice, the ongoing video series features leading industry executives, tendering advice to ProStart students seeking a foodservice career.
ProStart is a two-year program that connects industry and the classroom, reaching more than 1,900 high schools and 95,000 high school students nationwide.
The first video, launched today, features PepsiCo corporate executive research chef Stephen Kalil. Additional videos will debut during the 2013-2014 school year.
"We are thrilled to launch this first video and ignite the excitement in our next generation of foodservice professionals," says Rob Gifford, NRAEF executive vice president of philanthropic initiatives. "The experts featured in this video series bring a passion to the industry that truly shines through, and we at the NRAEF are eager to share their success stories with our students across the country."
In addition to the video series, which spotlights a day-in-the life of renowned foodservice professionals, Project Taste Test also consists of in-classroom discussion and activity guides. These resources highlight the various opportunities available to students looking to pursue a career in the foodservice industry.
In the first video, Kalil discusses his experience developing and launching new products. He speaks to what he loves about his career and offers tips for culinary students looking to pursue a similar path.
Kalil is a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) with the American Culinary Federation and a Certified Research Chef (CRC) with the Research Chefs Association, where he is president. His résumé includes stints with The Cheesecake Factory and Chilli's Grill and Bar, before joining PepsiCo and Frito Lay in July of 2007, becoming the company's first corporate chef. In his current role, he uses culinology—the blending of culinary arts with food science and technology—for product development.
Recent reports from the NRA project total restaurant and foodservice employment to grow by 11 percent over the next decade. Through such programs as ProStart, the NRA advances scholarships and educational programs to develop a professionally trained talent pool.
By Joann Whitcher