Iron Student Chefs Vie for Trophy in 10th Annual Competition

Eighteen culinary students showed their passion for food and competed in the 10th Annual Iron Student Chef competition at the Academy of Culinary Arts April 28.

At 9:25 a.m. sharp, it was time to start the competition coordinated by ACA Chef Educator Vincent “Rocky” Tedeschi. The students were organized into four

First-place team members from left to right: Xavier Baskerville of Egg Harbor, Jessica Scannapieco of Egg Harbor Township, Jacob Mann of Marmora, Gianna Cottone of Absecon and Brian Peters of Egg Harbor Township. ACA Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi is also pictured.

First-place team members from left to right: Xavier Baskerville of Egg Harbor, Jessica Scannapieco of Egg Harbor Township, Jacob Mann of Marmora, Gianna Cottone of Absecon and Brian Peters of Egg Harbor Township. ACA Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi is also pictured.

Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi and Chef Edward Daggers sample a team's dishes.

Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi and Chef Edward Daggers sample a team’s dishes.

teams. Their mission: to create four dishes, each incorporating a tightly guarded secret ingredient revealed only minutes before the start of cooking. The teams were given 15 minutes to create recipes and 90 minutes to cook.

The secret ingredient to be included in each team’s four dishes, from appetizers to entrees: passion fruit. The teams were given passion fruit and a variety of other ingredients and told to produce three plates for each dish, one for display, and the others for judging.

The first place, trophy-winning team included: Brian Peters, Xavier Baskerville, Jacob Mann, Gianna Cottone and Jessica Scannapieco. Each teammate received a chef’s knife from Mercer Cutlery.

The second place team, silver medal winners: Adam Field, Anthony Dorando, Lindsay Bender and Alexander (Zander) Gatta.

The bronze medal third place team: Bruce Tice, Jose Otto, Jonathon Olivo, Anthony Scott and Eric Larmore.

The winning team’s menu included Pan-seared Scallops with a Parsnip Purée accompanied by a Passion Fruit Reduction Sauce; Deconstructed Lobster and Passion Fruit Salad with a White Balsamic Glaze; Pan-seared Salmon with a Passion Fruit Glaze and a Tropical Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa over Risotto mixed with Quinoa; and for dessert, Yogurt Mousse Enrobed in Passion Fruit Glaze paired with Passion Fruit Cake.

Chef Tedeschi and Atlantic City Country Club Executive Chef Edward Daggers were this year’s tasting judges. Kitchen judges were Chef Educators Daniel Matt and Philip Cragg. Judging was based on a possible 50 points, including 10 points each for flavor, knowledge of item, presentation, originality and sanitation. Teams lost 10 points for lateness and 10 points if kitchen/lab clean-up was not satisfactory.

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