Winning medals at ACF (American Culinary Federation) competitions for the Monroe College culinary teams is almost like picking up chocolates and popping them into your mouth. After 10 more were earned at the New York State Championships held at SUNY Delhi on March 17, the Monroe total for the academic year (which is not over yet!) is nearing 100.
At Delhi, the Monroe varsity culinarians earned five ACF gold medals (worth 36.2 points) and the Junior Varsity team finished with five silver medals (worth 34 points).
The lead judge of the competition, Chef Louis Perrotte noted that the top three teams in the competition (Delhi, CIA, Monroe) scored higher than any of the other competing states and regional championships outside of New York.
“This is the most difficult place to win a state championship and any one of the top three finishing teams would be a strong contender to compete at the Nationals,” he said.
In his official critique, Chef Perrotte commented that the Monroe varsity entrée of a classical chicken dish was the best interpretation and execution of the classical dish of the event.
Other ACF judges at the event, Chef Mickey Beriau and Chef Michael Morgan, were impressed with the fun-loving nature and positive attitudes of the Monroe J.V. team, led by their captain Samantha Gonzalez. At the conclusion of the competition, all the judges reported that the Monroe students are wonderful to work with, accept critiques well, and are very respectful of the opposing teams and the host institution.
“Success at these competitions says a lot about the students’ abilities and prospects for the future,” said Dr. Frank Costantino, the Culinary Coach and Dean of Monroe’s School of Hospitality Management. “The pressure, high-level technique, and split-second timing involved is not dissimilar to that of what a chef in a top-flight restaurant has to work under on a nightly basis and so achievement here often translates into professional achievement. It’s one of the reasons why we work so hard to do well at them.”
Some of the students will soon be graduating with their Hospitality Management BBA’s and others will be applying to study abroad in the college’s program in Italy.
On March 31, 14 Monroe students along with Dr. Costantino and Chef Vincent Comito competed in the ACF Long Island competition. On May 12, Monroe College will host the annual Greater New York Culinary Challenge, an ACF sanctioned competition that will have more than 40 professional and student competitors from all over the tri-state area perform in the college’s state-of the art Culinary Art Center, located at 434 Main Street in New Rochelle, N.Y.
The 10 medals were awarded to:
Varsity Team – 5 Gold
Tihelia James, Captain – Hospitality BBA 2013, Culinary Arts AAS 2012
Kareem Meade – Hospitality BBA 2012, Culinary Arts AAS 2011
Dwight Duvoll – Hospitality BBA 2013, Culinary Arts AAS 2012
Gabriela Grande – Hospitality BBA 2013, Culinary Arts AAS 2012
Jessica Johnson – Hospitality BBA 2013, Pastry Arts AAS 2012
J.V. Team – 5 Silver
Samantha Gonzalez, Captain – Hospitality BBA 2013, Culinary Arts AAS 2012
Stephanie Cardenas – Hospitality BBA 2013, Culinary Arts AAS 2012
Katherine Tavares – Culinary Arts AAS 2013
Kencito Vernon – Culinary Arts AAS 2013
Enmely Soriano – Culinary Arts AAS 2013