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METAIRIE, La.- The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation's (LRAEF) inaugural recognition event, "Serving the Future-Celebrating Careers in Hospitality," will be held Thursday, March 30, 2017 at Generations Hall in New Orleans, 6-9 p.m.

A party created to honor the 2017 LRAEF Scholarship Award winners and the LRAEF's partner organizations, it will feature delicious food from some of the most popular restaurants in the New Orleans area and some fun surprises for scholarship recipients and the high school students in town for the Louisiana ProStart® Student Invitational. ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow's industry leaders. This two-day annual competition features ProStart teams from across the state competing in separate culinary and restaurant management components for a chance to win scholarships to culinary and hospitality-focused post-secondary schools and to represent the state at the National ProStart Invitational in Charleston, S.C. next month.

"Serving the Future" will feature two emcees, married chefs Cody and Samantha Carroll, who own Hot Tails Restaurant in New Roads and Sac-a-Lait in New Orleans. As Louisiana Culinary Institute alumni, they represent how much success a former culinary student can achieve in the restaurant industry. They will lead the ceremony that will recognize 34 students who will receive $57,000 in scholarships from the LRAEF Scholarship Fund. Created in 2009, this fund has awarded $390,000 to deserving students interested in furthering their education to support a career in the culinary, hospitality, or other related industries.

During the evening, students and scholarship winners will be able to take photos with notable guest chefs and restaurant operators and enjoy music by a DJ and great food from such restaurants as Barcadia Bar & Grill, Dat Dog, Melt and Plum Street Snoballs, just to name a few. Party favors will include photo booth flip-books from Funtastic Fotos.

"We are so excited to bring this unique event to our scholarship winners and ProStart students," said LRAEF Executive Director Alison Greffenius. "‘Serving the Future' is all about honoring the future of our industry in a fun atmosphere that high school and college students can appreciate."

This event would not be possible without the support of the "Serving the Future" sponsors. They are:


  • The Epicureans: B&G Food Enterprises, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, Reily Foods Company, Republic National Distributing Company, Sysco Foodservice of New Orleans, Taste Buds Management and TLC Linen Services
  • The Connoisseurs: Centerplate, Community Coffee Company, Jones Walker, Leidenheimer Baking Company, LRA Acadiana Chapter, LRA Bayou Chapter, LRA Greater New Orleans Chapter, LRA Northeast Chapter and Mickey Freiberg
  • The Aficionados: Dickie Brennan & Company and Ruffino's Restaurant
  • In-Kind Sponsor: Generations Hall


2017 LRAEF Annual Partners: Five Diamond- Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor System, Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Louisiana Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers; Four Diamond- Performance Foodservice- Caro; Three Diamond- Atmos Energy, Baton Rouge Epicurean Society, Ben E. Keith Co., Delaware North, Ecolab and Louisiana Culinary Institute; Two Diamond- Besh Restaurant Group and Louisiana Gas Association and One Diamond-Capitol City Produce. The LRAEF would also like to thank the nine chapters of the LRA for their support throughout the year.


ProStart is a registered trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

ProStart is a two-year, culinary management program for high school juniors and seniors with a curriculum designed to teach students culinary techniques as well as restaurant management skills. ProStart is in 60 high schools statewide and more than 1,600 students participate in the program.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation exists to enhance the industry's service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association is one of the largest business organizations in the state, representing restaurant operations and related businesses. The restaurant industry in Louisiana is one the state's largest private employers, providing jobs to 207,700 residents. Restaurants in Louisiana are expected to generate sales of $8.9 billion in 2017. Get up-to-date news about the LRA and the restaurant industry from