Third place management team from left: Emmanuel Hernandez, Abigail Peranil, Vanessa Gorgonia, Daniella De La Fuente. (Photo by Gina Ward, courtesy of Rowland Unified)

Rowland High is cooking with gas, propane gas that is. The Raiders' management team earned a third place competing against 27 other high schools in the California ProStart Cup competition.

Culinary students celebrated their victories at an awards ceremony on March 18 in the Pasadena Convention Center. The event was presented by the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Management students from Rowland High took the third place in BJ's Restaurants Management Cup. The team consists of Daniella De La Fuente, Emmanuel Hernandez, Abigail Peranil and Vanessa Gorgonia. They each won a $1,000 scholarship.

"I want to manage a full-service restaurant after I graduate," said 16-year-old Hernandez.

Scholarship winners Jenny Tung and Joshua Carelli. (Photo by Gina Ward, courtesy of Rowland Unified)
"This will help me get the job."

"My parents are both great Filipino cooks, so I thought Rowland's culinary classes would be interesting," said the 17-year-old Peranil.

Student teams had to present a business proposal for a new restaurant, including a supporting menu, a marketing plan and a detailed design.

A panel of professionals judged the entries, including Bob DeLiema, president of BJ's Restaurants Foundation.

"We are constantly impressed at the level of talent being nurtured in ProStart classrooms across California," DeLiema said. "These students are the future leaders of our industry, and we're proud to play a role in their development."

The Rowland team proposed a Blue's Burgers restaurant

that would incorporate music in the theme. They included a marketing plan and architectural layout.

Rowland teacher Kathy Stella shares the culinary program with her colleague Danielle Warren, who is in charge of the student-run restaurant.

"Our students worked very hard to prepare for this competition," explained Stella. "They would come in before school to work on their proposals and recipes."

The local high school entered two management teams and a cooking team. Josh Carelli and Jenny Tung, both 18, also won scholarships.

"I won a $2,000 scholarship for my second-place essay on `Why I deserve a scholarship,"' Carelli said. Click HERE for entire story!