Culinary Students Team Up with Professional Chefs in Annual Competition
It’s an annual competition that tests their creativity and ability to think on their feet. Once again, ECPI University’s culinary students did not disappoint. Billed as the Perfect Pairing, ECPI University’s College of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV), invited professional chefs to campus to pair up with students for a challenge like no other.
Each team is asked to create a single dish from the contents of a mystery basket of ingredients only revealed to them right before it’s time to cook. Cooking in rounds, teams are eliminated one by one until only five teams remain. This year, the final round’s mystery basket contained white asparagus, black forbidden rice, belt fish and sapote, a tropical fruit. Each team received the same ingredients and was tasked with creating a dish that was unique and different.
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Aside from local chefs and alumni, this year’s panel of judges included a very special quest. Last year, CIV awarded 11-year-old cancer survivor Abby Furco a full scholarship after learning about her love of cooking and fierce determination to become a chef. Based on taste and creativity, she and the other judges selected these three teams for top honors:
1st Place- John O’Brien and Elienne Corbett (first time an alumni (John O’Brien) ever beat a faculty member in one of these competitions) ($1,000 scholarship)
2nd Place- Kelly Demarchena and Jaizsel Singleton ($650 scholarship)
3rd Place – David Miller and Shannon Stewart ($350 scholarship)
Congratulations to all for a job well done!