Culinary arts and culinary arts/baking, production and management students at Alfred State College competed in the 30th annual Culinary Arts Exposition, which featured an exhibit of Epicurean delights, earlier this spring.
Seven professional chefs from the Buffalo and Rochester areas adjudicated the competition at Alfred State College's School of Applied Technology, Wellsville.
Categories in which the gastronomic goodies were judged include three- and five-course meals; margarine and tallow sculptures; garde manger (cold food platter); ice carvings; assorted desserts, pastries and breads; decorated cakes; and sugar sculptures.
Special awards went to entries selected as Best Culinary Presentation, senior and freshman levels, awarded for the best culinary entry; Best Bakery Presentation, senior and freshman levels, awarded for the best bakery entry; Judges' Awards, given by the judges for the presentation which most closely meets the American Culinary Federation (ACF) competition guidelines; Students' Choice Award, both senior and freshman, voted on by the students; and Instructors' Recognition Award, both senior and freshman, decided by the Culinary Arts Department faculty.
Snaring these prestigious awards this year:
Amber Funk, Nunda, culinary arts freshman, was awarded the Culinary Students' Choice Award (freshman) and the Instructors' Recognition Award, Culinary Freshman, based on her efforts during the week preceding the exposition, helping others, keeping up with other responsibilities in the kitchen, etc.
Ryan Callahan, Dunkirk, dual degree culinary arts senior, was awarded first-place ribbons for her sushi platter, polar bear ice sculpture, and eagle in flight tallow sculpture. Callahan's eagle in flight was also awarded the best culinary presentation. Her peers recognized her effort in awarding her the Culinary Students' Choice Award.
Ashley Burt, Niagara Falls, culinary arts/baking, production and management senior, was awarded the Instructors' Recognition Award for Baking as well as a Judges' Award for baking for her autumn harvest wedding cake.
Sean Hall, Tonawanda, culinary arts/baking, production and management senior, also received the Instructors' Recognition Award, based on his efforts during the week preceding the exposition, helping others, keeping up with other responsibilities in the kitchen, etc.
Evan Ackley, Little Valley, culinary arts senior, was awarded the Instructors' Recognition Award for Culinary Senior, based on his efforts during the week preceding the exposition, helping others, keeping up with other responsibilities in the kitchen, etc.
Jacalyn Neumann, Otisville, culinary arts/baking, production and management freshman, was awarded the Best Bakery Presentation for freshmen, for her abstract sugar sculpture;
Larry Johnson, Leicester, culinary arts freshman, was awarded a first-place ribbon and best culinary presentation for freshmen, for his entry, a three-course luncheon.
Lindsay Traver, Horseheads, culinary arts/baking, production and management senior, earned two Judges' Awards for baking, one for her chocolate sculpture jackpot, and one for petit fours.
Kelly Hooper, South Wales, culinary arts senior, captured the Judges' Award for culinary senior, for her entry, five individual entrees and a spice sculpture of Ariel;
as did Jennifer Kipler, Orchard Park, dual degree culinary arts senior, for her sushi platter and tallow sculpture of Eeyore;
Kristina Walton, Bliss, culinary arts freshman, captured the Judges' Award and a first-place ribbon for culinary freshmen with her entry, a three-course luncheon.
Additionally, several students also captured first-place ribbons for their entries: Ashleigh Houghtaling, Harrison Valley, PA, culinary arts freshman, for a three-course luncheon; Michelle Mitchell, Kent, WA, culinary arts freshman, for a three individual entrees; Jeremiah Putt, Medina, culinary arts senior, for his spice and tallow sculpture of "Chef Snoopy;" and Melissa Carpenter, Portageville, culinary arts senior, for her five-course dinner.
The students' culinary creations were judged by professionals from the culinary industry, including Mark Hayna, food product analyst for Food Distributors of America. He is also a marketing specialist and a trained bakery technician. Jamie Wells, a graduate of ASC's culinary and baking programs, classes of '00 and '01, and her husband Darren, a graduate of the pastry curriculum at Erie Community College, own the "Sweet Beginnings" bakery in Buffalo. Jamie participated in a recruitment video for the ASC Culinary Department. Mark Wright, CEC (certified executive chef), is a member of the American Academy of Chefs (AAC) and is an assistant professor and chair of the Culinary Arts Department at Erie County Community College. Wright was awarded Chef of the Year in 1989 and 2000 in the Buffalo area. He is a past president of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and is currently vice president for the North East region of the ACF. Mike Olday is a 1987 graduate of the ASC culinary program. He is a member of the ACF and is a certified executive chef. He is the executive chef at Brookfield Country Club, Clarence. He was voted the 2004 Chef of the Year in the Buffalo area. Christian Hipszer, a member of the ACF Greater Buffalo Chapter, works for Delaware North as the executive chef at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He is a 1995 Culinary Institute of America graduate and was certified as chef de cuisine at NAPA Valley CIA, 2006. Don Antinore is also a member of the ACF - Rochester Chapter. Antinore is retired after 40 years in the culinary field, most recently as executive chef for the City of Rochester school feeding system. He is certified as an executive chef, a culinary educator, a culinary administrator, and a member of the Academy of Chefs.
Pictured here, proudly displaying their awards are, l-r, back row: Lindsay Traver, Kelly Hooper, Evan Ackley; front row: Larry Johnson, Sean Hall, Jen Kipler, Ryan Callahan, Jacalyn Neumann, Kristina Walton, and Amber Funk. John M. Santora, associate professor and chair, Culinary Arts Department, Alfred State College, looks on.