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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2011

Local Chef Honored with Salute to Excellence Award

Chef Jason Tofte, Executive Chef at Eddie Martini’s in Wauwatosa, is honored as the ProStart® Mentor of the Year as part of the 2011 Salute to Excellence Awards, presented by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Education Foundation.

Chef Tofte is a respected Wisconsin chef, strong foodservice leader and industry mentor who is passionate about the restaurant industry. He has been instrumental in working with juniors and seniors as part of the Wauwatosa East High School culinary arts program, providing countless volunteer hours and helping to strengthen the ProStart® program in Wisconsin. ProStart® is a college prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. As part of the program, Chef Tofte helped coach Wauwatosa East’s student culinary team in preparing for Wisconsin’s ProStart® Invitational culinary competitions held during the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo. He also assists students with learning specific culinary techniques, knife skills, sanitation skills and effective time management.

“I enjoy working with Jason because he is committed to working with aspiring chefs,” says Barb Bruesewitz, a culinary arts instructor at Wauwatosa East High School. “Working with this professional has brought a whole new dimension to the culinary program at East.”

“Chef Tofte has demonstrated amazing dedication to the foodservice industry,” says Susan Quam, Executive Director of the WRA Education Foundation. “His support of the ProStart® program and mentorship of high school students, in particular, really makes a difference.”

Chef Tofte’s menu development expertise and culinary contributions are of great value to students, foodservice educators and industry professionals. Through his leadership, he has demonstrated amazing dedication to students and to the future of the industry to make him a well-deserved recipient of this award. The WRA and Education Foundation proudly presents Executive Chef Jason Tofte with the ProStart® Mentor of the Year Award for his compassion for young people and his spirit of giving.

Each year, the WRA EF recognizes five individuals and one company for dedication and commitment to education in the restaurant industry as Salute to Excellence honorees. Other 2011 Salute to Excellence honorees include: Barb Bruesewitz (Wauwatosa East High School), Chef Fred Griesbach, CEC, AAC (The Sky Club, Plover), Chef Gary Lyons (Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton), Susan Patterson (Al & Al’s Stein Haus, Sheboygan) and Badger Liquor Co., Inc. (Fond du Lac). Each honoree creates opportunities for people interested in foodservice industry careers. They have worked in a variety of roles, in different parts of the state, but they share an enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the restaurant industry.

The Salute to Excellence awards are presented at the 2011 Celebration of Excellence on Sunday, October 9 at the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake. More information on the event is available at www.wirestaurant.org.

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The WRA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1987 and is one of the nation’s largest state restaurant association foundations. The WRA EF vision is to advance professionalism through education, scholarships and community involvement to ensure the future success of the foodservice industry.

The ProStart® program, administered by National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC and state restaurant associations, is a college prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them.

 
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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960