Order Up Podcast artwork
Episode 80
May 08, 2023

ProStart: Educating Tomorrow’s Industry Leaders

Guest Speakers:
  • Patrick Phelan
Like many aspiring cooks, Chef Patrick Phelan grew up cooking at home and dreamt of being a chef someday. After working in various restaurant roles in college, he worked his way up to pastry chef at a top New Orleans restaurant. But his culinary career took an unexpected turn into education after Hurricane Katrina closed his restaurant. With a reopening uncertain, Patrick went looking for a new job and landed one as a ProStart educator for a school in the area. Nearly two decades later, he’s still teaching and was recently named 2023 ProStart Teacher of the Year. Listen in to hear more about Patrick’s commitment to educating tomorrow’s restaurant leaders.

(01:49) - Patrick’s journey from the kitchen to the classroom
(05:14) - Explaining the ProStart Educator role
(07:57) - Building career paths for students
(10:25) - Helping students expand their culinary horizons
(13:36) - Inspiring career paths of ProStart graduates
(16:08) - Advice for students curious about the ProStart program

ProStart is a two-year industry-backed culinary arts and restaurant management program for high school students. The program reaches approximately 165,000 students in over 1,850 schools in all 50 states, Washington, dc, and the territory of Guam. Over the past 23 years, more than 1 million students have participated in ProStart.

Patrick Phelan is a certified ProStart and ServSafe educator based in Louisiana. Patrick has worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years in a number of capacities and has been educating the next generation of restaurant workers for 17 years.

The ProStart Teacher of the Year Award, sponsored by Golden Corral in honor of founder James Maynard, honors one individual for their tireless dedication to providing remarkable experiences to their ProStart students.

If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to Order Up in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Podcast episode production by Dante32.
Listen to the previous episodes