Picture of OCSD Chefs

Local Chefs Attend ProStart Training in Miami

Three Okaloosa County School District Chefs recently attended the ProStart Training held at Johnson and Wales University in North Miami, Florida. 

According to their website, ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime. By bringing industry and the classroom together, ProStart gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents and opens doors for fulfilling careers. It all happens through a curriculum that teaches all facets of the restaurant and foodservice industry, inspires students to succeed and sets a high standard of excellence for students and the industry.

The three chefs that attended were:

Crestview High School – Chef Chuck Tingle

Chef Tingle has been teaching in the culinary program at Crestview High School for the past three years.  Last year was the first year he attended the ProStart Training in Miami.  Chef Tingle attended the Greenville Technical College in South Carolina where he majored in Culinary Arts.  He then went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Georgia Southern University.  Under Chef Tingle’s leadership, the Crestview High School Culinary Arts program has increased in enrollment in the program.

Niceville High School – Chef Dominic Pannelli

Chef Pannelli began his teaching career at Okaloosa Technical College and transferred to the Niceville High School culinary program for the 2016-2017 school year after the program experienced tremendous growth.  Attending the ProStart training for the past three years, Chef Pannelli completed his final year of training this summer.  Chef Pannelli earned his culinary credentials from the Pinellas Technical Education Center in Clearwater, Florida.  With the increase growth of their program, Chef Pannelli and Chef Mason are working to create a new state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and renovate the current “home economics” kitchen. 

Okaloosa Technical College – Chef Marcus Hencinski

Chef Hencinski is the new “chef” for the Okaloosa County School District’s culinary programs and attended the ProStart training for the first time this summer.  Chef Hencinski attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York and then moved on to Florida International University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. 

All three chefs have industry experience.

“We would like to thank the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association for assisting three of our chefs in attending the ProStart training this summer,” said April Branscome, CTE Specialist.