Culinary arts and culinary arts/baking, production and management students at Alfred State College competed in the 31st annual Culinary Arts Exposition, which featured an exhibit of Epicurean delights, earlier this spring.
Five professional chefs 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, which is based on a student's efforts during the week preceding the exposition decided by the Culinary Arts Department faculty.
Snaring these prestigious awards this year:
Kaleigh Ligoci, Cicero, a bakery freshman, was recognized by her peers with the Baking Students' Choice Award for freshmen;
James Tucker, Buffalo, a bakery senior, was also recognized by his peers with the Baking Students' Choice Award for seniors; he was also awarded the Instructors' Recognition Award for bakery seniors;
Christopher Clark, Olean, a culinary freshman, was recognized by his peers with the Culinary Students' Choice Award for freshmen;
Kristina Walton, Bliss, culinary arts senior, was recognized by her peers with the Culinary Students' Choice Award for seniors;
Megan Hoak, Portville, captured the Instructors' Recognition Award for Bakery Freshmen;
Peter Damiano, Middletown, garnered the Instructors' Recognition Award for Culinary Freshmen;
Amber Funk, Nunda, culinary arts senior, was awarded the Instructors' Recognition Award for Culinary Seniors;
Chelsi Stewart, Canandaigua, a bakery senior, snared the Judges' Award for Baking and the Best Baking Presentation Award - senior category for her petit fours;
David Milam, Lakewood, OH, a bakery freshman, captured the Most Original-Baking Category and Best Baking Presentation-freshman category, for his Tiffany lamp, made of sugar and dough;
Rachel Heim, West Clarksville, a culinary arts freshman, captured the Judges' Award for Culinary Freshmen for her entry, a three-course luncheon;
Megan Barber, Arcade, a culinary arts senior, won the Judges' Award for Culinary Seniors for her entry, a five-course dinner;
Lillie Colon, Dansville, a culinary arts freshman, captured the Best Freshman Culinary Award with her entry, a three-course luncheon; and
Jay Burdin, Cohocton, a culinary arts senior, garnered the Best Senior Culinary Award for his entry, five individual entrees.
Additionally, several students also captured first-place ribbons for their entries:
In the category of bakery freshmen:
Jessica Peterson, Hammondsport, for her cornucopia and assorted rolls; David Milam, Lakewood, OH, for his Tiffany lamp; Erica Perkins, Friendship, for her basket bread sculpture and croquembouche; Emily McCarthy, Corning, for her entry, a marzipan scene; Andrew Dupuis, Canisteo, for his sculpture of salt dough fruit in a basket; and Kaleigh Ligoci, Cicero, for her blossom wedding cake.
In the category of bakery seniors:
Melissa Carpenter, Portageville, for her sugar sculpture of a gazebo constructed of royal icing; Chelsi Stewart, Canandaigua, for her soup terrine bread sculpture and for her petit fours; James Tucker, Buffalo, for his breakfast pastry assortment; and Jacalyn Neumann, Otisville, for her selection of tortes.
In the category of culinary freshmen-each of the following students entered a three-course luncheon for judging:
Carl Bray, Penn Yan; Lillie Colon, Dansville; Rachel Heim, West Clarksville; Greg Rollo, Endicott; Nicole Wagner, Fulton; and Seth Wilson, Brocton.
The students' culinary creations were judged by professionals from the culinary industry, including Mark Hejina, Keck's Food Service, Millerton, PA, a marketing and food service specialist. He has had a long career in baking and bakery management. Hejina has been helpful in the development of the ASC bakery program for the past 13 years. 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. Tab Daulton is the executive chef of the HSBC Arena, contracted by Delaware North. He is the past president of the Buffalo Chapter of the ACF 2002-06; Chef of the Year in 2006, and is the chairman of the board of the Buffalo Chapter. Daulton was awarded the Silver Plate Award last spring (2007) by the Council of the Food Service Association and will be part of Delaware North's Culinary Competition Team in Erfurt, Germany, in 2008. Roger Bell, a 2000 ASC culinary graduate, is the executive chef at the Orchard Park Country Club. In addition to a successful career as a chef, Bell has been helpful in judging the SkillsUSA competitions. Cari Zobrist is owner and executive chef of the Angelica Inn, Angelica. Zobrist was trained at Le Cordon Bleu School of the Culinary Arts in California, was a chef in Las Vegas at the Culinary Training Academy, and was the owner of her own catering firm in Los Angeles. Categories in which the gastronomic goodies were judged included three- and five-course meals, margarine and tallow sculptures, ice carvings, and assorted desserts and pastries. Special awards went to entries selected as best food presentation, and judges' awards, peer recognition awards, and teachers' recognition awards.