NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Monroe College, a national leader in urban and international education, today announced that students from its Culinary Arts program won the American Culinary Federation (ACF) 2015 New York State Championship in a competition held November 1.
The ACF New York State Championship, which consists of two phases, requires students to demonstrate their competency in two key areas. In the first phase, a technical skills salon, students must exhibit mastery of butchery, fish filleting, knife cuts or pastry cream preparation. During the second phase, a 75-minute cooking competition, they must produce a four-course menu comprising one classical course as well as a contemporary fish course, salad course, and dessert of their own signature concepts.
Monroe’s five-person team, captained by sophomore Courtney Boyle, competed against students from defending champions Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, 11-time state champion SUNY Delhi and Schenectady County Community College to secure five gold medals and subsequently their first state championship.
The Monroe team’s four-course entry, which included a main dish of pan-seared crispy red snapper, buttered leek pillows, tomato jam, saffron-scented cauliflower purée, snapper-and-shrimp mousseline and “bouillabaisse” foam, impressed competition judges U.S. Army executive chef David J. Turcotte, Tom Recinella of the Culinary Institute of Michigan, ACF Northeast regional vice president George O’Palenick, and accomplished pastry chef-educator Noble Masi.
“We warmly congratulate all the participating teams on their incredible work, and are honored to be selected among such talented competition as state champions,” said Frank C. Costantino EdD CEC CCE AAC, Dean of Monroe College’s School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. “Securing our first ACF state championship attests to the strength of Monroe’s culinary program and the focus, talent, and determination of our students, who worked incredibly hard in practice over the last five months to prepare for this event.”
Since 2009, Monroe’s culinary arts program has received 527 awards, including the coveted Marc Sarrazin trophy at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in NYC in 2011 and 2013. Taught by a faculty of experienced industry professionals, many of whom are certified by the American Culinary Federation, students gain valuable instruction and mentoring in a real-world culinary environment.