Jose Guedes LetoHS Awardee 400x214


Leto HS Chef Deb Hladky shown here with Jose Guedes.

The Upper Tampa Education Foundation has a special relationship with Leto High School and their outstanding culinary arts program led by Chef Debra Hladky.  They are our go to caterers at many of our events and always get rave reviews. Chef Deb has a way of developing talent and empowering her students to develop a vision, set goals and just go for it.

This year’s scholarship awarded is continuing that tradition with honor.  Our Leto Super Star, Jose Guedes,  graduated with a 4.03 GPA.  More than that, he was a member of the 2015 Leto Competition Team which came away with a state championship.  Our awardee and his team then represented Florida at the ProStart National Invitational tournament in mid-April in Anaheim California.  This is the premier high school restaurant competition in the country focused on restaurant management and culinary skills and included teams from US high schools from Europe, Guam and the Pacific.  This is a rigidly timed 2 hour 42 minute event ranging from pre-planning, knife skills, cooking, presentation, tasting, clean-up and sanitation. Under his leadership, Leto placed 7th out of 48 teams nationwide.

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Jose  plans to pursue a career in the culinary field and will continue his education at the prestigious Johnson and Wales University, North Miami Campus in the fall. Johnson and Wales is an 100 year old university based in Rhode Island and they promise their culinary program does not just develop great chefs but changes the way the world eats. 

Keep cookin’ Jose we’re proud to be a small part of  your  goal of being a game changer in the industry.  Jose and Chef Deb are shown accepting the Award from Board Member Gerald Jacobs.