ProStart Students Climb Aboard Chicago Food Truck ‘Gaztro-Wagon’

Tilden Community Career Academy students Levern Black and Kelly Perkins served up naan-wiches and smiles to gaztro-wagon customers today.

By Derrek J. Hull | Floored – NRA Show

Tilden Community Career Academy students Levern Black and Kelly Perkins served up naan-wiches and smiles to gaztro-wagon customers today.

Food trucks are becoming popular alternatives for restaurant owners and patrons alike across the country. According the National Restaurant Association’s 2011 Forecast, 47 percent of adults said that if one of their favorite restaurants were to offer its menu from a mobile kitchen parked near their home or work place, they likely would take advantage of that service.

Prostart wagon In celebration of the upcoming National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, ProStart students from Simeon Career Academy and Tilden Career Community Academy in Chicago are climbing aboard Chicago’s award-winning gaztro-wagon to create, assemble and sell its naan-wiches. While the students are putting their skills to the test May 18 through May 20, gaztro-wagon will be selling a special ProStart naan-wich with a portion of the proceeds benefiting ProStart scholarships.

ProStart is the NRAEF’s nationwide, two-year program for high school students that teaches culinary techniques and management skills while providing real-world educational opportunities.

As a former NRAEF Salute to Excellence student honor delegate, Matt Maroni of the gaztro-wagon is bringing his NRAEF education full-circle by teaming up with current ProStart students to raise money for the ProStart program.

“As a veteran of the industry, I understand the importance of real-world experience for the restaurant industry’s future workforce. I’m proud to provide this opportunity to Chicago ProStart students,” said Matt Maroni, owner of the gaztro-wagon. “It’s great to be able to give back to a program that recognized me at the start of my career.”

To follow the action live, or try out the special ProStart naan-wich, check out the ProStart Twitter feed @ProStart or with gaztro-wagon @wherezwagon. Live tweeting will be happening throughout each day from May 18 through May 20 including the gaztro-wagon location, updates and photos.

ProStart and gaztro-wagon location schedule

Thursday, May 19, 11:45 a.m. at AON Center located at Columbus Drive and East Randolph Street.

Friday, May 20, 11:45 a.m., Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) at South Wacker Drive and West Van Buren Street.

Culinary showcases and mini-education sessions featuring ProStart students, experts and industry stars will take place throughout each NRA Show day. For a complete schedule of these daily presentations, visit the booth at the entrance to the North Hall or go to www.restaurant.org/show. Registration for NRA Show 2011 is also available online.

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