Johnson & Wales University hosts culinary competition for high school students
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – April 12, 2008 – The results are in. Out of more than 500 applicants nation-wide 20 students were asked to come to Johnson & Wales University (JWU)’s North Miami Campus to compete in its 19th Annual National Chef of the Year competition on April 12.
Ten students competed in the dinner category and 10 competed in the dessert category. Students had three hours to prepare their recipes for a panel of judges for the chance to win scholarship money to JWU and a meeting with JWU alumnus and Food Network star Tyler Florence.
A full-tuition scholarship, valued at more than $80,000 was awarded to the grand prize winner. First runner-up in both categories received a $7,500 renewable tuition scholarship and second runner-up received a $5,000 renewable tuition scholarship to JWU. A $3,500 renewable tuition scholarship to JWU was awarded to the remaining finalists. All the competitors received an autographed copy of Tyler Florence’s latest cookbook, Tyler’s Ultimate.
This year’s competition asked high school juniors and seniors to create an original recipe that incorporates their family heritage or ethnicity. The recipe had to be nutritionally balanced according to the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society dietary guidelines. One of the goals of the competition is to increase awareness of teen obesity. Details on the Chef of the Year competition are available online.
Each dish was judged on overall quality; flavor, taste, texture and doneness; presentation; creativity; mise en place; sanitation and cooking techniques. This year’s judges included Thomas Gosney, personal chef for Shaquille O’Neal; Izabela Wojcik, director of house events at The James Beard Foundation, and Wolfgang Bierer, a certified American Culinary Federation judge and culinary educator.
A full list of the finalists follows: DESSERT CATEGORY Grand prize winner (full tuition scholarship to JWU and a meeting with celebrity chef and JWU alumnus Tyler Florence) Luis Rojas, a senior at East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C. White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse with Tuile Cookie and Strawberry Coulis
First runner-up ($7,500 scholarship to JWU, renewable for up to four years) Christina Pham, a senior at Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kan. Dual Vietnamese Sweet Rice Puddings on Coconut White Chocolate Panna Cotta
Second runner-up ($5,000 scholarship to JWU, renewable for up to four years) Remy Coltek, a junior at Pope High School in Marietta, Ga. Crisp Flax and Sesame Crusted Strawberry Strudel with Thyme-Lemon Sauce and Melon Compote
The remaining finalists each won a $3,500 scholarship to JWU, renewable for up to four years. The seven finalists are:
Christina Cassel, a senior at East Hampton High School in Sagonack, N.Y. Light Cheesecake with Pomegranate Gelee Kevin Frei, a senior at Potter-Dix High School in Potter, Neb. Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Stuffed in a Crispy Pizzelle Cookie Eiljah Gurman, a senior at Eastside High School in Gainesville, Fla. Strawberry Espresso Mocha Mousse Valerie NeSmith, a senior at Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla. Strawberry Gallette with Lemon Custard and Strawberry Chambord Abbey Reedy, a senior at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio Flourless Chocolate Cake with Mango, Pineapple Sorbet and Fresh Strawberries Emily Roberts, a senior at Robert G. Cole High School in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas Boston Cream Pie with a Strawberry Twist Timothy Tsao, a senior at South Pasadena High School in South Pasadena, Calif. Green Tea Sponge Cake with Vanilla Cream, Strawberry and Mango Purée and Sesame Seed Brittle DINNER CATEGORY Grand prize winner (full tuition scholarship to JWU and a meeting with celebrity chef and JWU alumnus Tyler Florence) Brett Eisen, a senior at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Mo. Oven-Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with a Citrus Israeli Couscous Cake topped with a Watercress Fennel Salad and finished with a Vanilla Tangerine Reduction
First runner-up ($7,500 scholarship to JWU, renewable for up to four years) Jessica Papirio, a senior at Walpole High School in Walpole, Mass. Bella Chicken with Gramma Papirio’s Roasted Potatoes in Pesto Sauce and Pecorino Romano Asparagus with Roasted Pepper Tie
Second runner-up ($5,000 scholarship to JWU, renewable for up to four years) Kaitlin Payne, a senior at Freeman High School in Richmond, Va. Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Corn Salsa, Fried Plantains, Grilled Asparagus and a Cilantro-Lime Emulsion
José Andreú, a senior at Academia del Perpertuo Socorro in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico Caribbean Spiced Grouper with Pineapple-Mango Sauce and Sweet Potato Purée Cada Fabian, a senior at Chatfield Senior High School in Littleton, Colo. Salmon Ceviche with Spiced Purple Potato, Avocado-Pineapple Salsa, Fried Green Plantains & Cucumber Strips Spencer Frye, a senior at Broadmoor Technical Center in Lenexa, Kan. Pan Roasted Kona Kampachi John Manneh, a senior at Mira Mesa High School in San Diego, Calif. Pine Nut Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Saffron Brown Rice, Chick Pea Salsa and Feta Sauce Paul McPherson, a senior at Murrell Dobbins High School in Philadelphia Ballotine Stuffed Chicken Breast with Crisp Corn and Potato Cakes Jenna Ortiz, a senior at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. New Zealand King Salmon Filet with Strawberry Glaze Emmalee Santioni, a senior at Fowlerville High School in Fowlerville, Mich. Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Pesto Polenta and Ribbon Vegetables STRAWBERRY CATEGORY The Florida Strawberry Growers Association also awarded a scholarship to high school juniors and seniors whose entries included the most creative use of strawberries.
Grand prize winner ($2,500 scholarship from the Florida Strawberry Growers Association) Luis Rojas, a senior at East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C. White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse with Tuile Cookie and Strawberry Coulis
First runner-up ($1,500 scholarship from the Florida Strawberry Growers Association) Valerie NeSmith, a senior at Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla. Strawberry Gallette with Lemon Custard and Strawberry Chambord
Second runner-up ($1,000 scholarship from the Florida Strawberry Growers Association) Kevin Frei, a senior at Potter-Dix High School in Potter, Neb. Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Stuffed in a Crispy Pizzelle Cookie
Johnson & Wales University, founded in 1914, is a nonprofit, private institution. A recognized leader in career education, we offer accredited degrees in business, hospitality, culinary arts, technology and education. With a diverse student body of more than 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students, representing all 50 states and 89 countries, JWU prepares students for personal and professional success by integrating rigorous academics and professional skills, community leadership opportunities and our unique career education model. The university is committed to urban revitalization and thoughtful historic renovation. Through active civic participation and by offering unique learning opportunities, JWU improves the quality of life in its campus communities in Providence, R.I., North Miami, Fla., Denver, Colo., and Charlotte, N.C. For more information visit www.jwu.edu.