NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The ACF Long Island Chapter student team from Monroe College, New Rochelle, New York, won the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Northeast Region Student Team Championship, February 21. The competition was held at Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The team competed against four other teams for the title and received a gold medal at the competition. Pictured, left to right, are Nicholas Giambrone, Erika Hernandez, Yudelka Torres (captain), Dejanee Archbold and Hipolito Torres. Frank Costantino, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, dean of the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, and Eric Pellizzari, CEC, CCE, culinary and pastry instructor, at Monroe College, coached.
The ACF Student Team Championship, sponsored by Vitamix®, is designed to raise the standards of culinary excellence and professionalism among students, promote camaraderie and educational opportunities and act as a staging area for research and development of culinary concepts. To compete at the regional level, teams must first win local and state competitions.
“We are extremely excited and honored to represent the Northeast at the national competition,” said Costantino. “There are such accomplished teams in our state and region, and to have won the championship is testament to how hard our students worked, their sacrifices and the wonderful support of our institution. The team is very focused, despite their academic and work responsibilities, and I’m sure they will deliver our ‘one team, one goal’ philosophy of giving our very best effort at nationals.”
The teams prepared four portions of a fish starter; salad; pre-assigned classical entrée, Poulet Sauté Saint-Lambert, as well as two appropriate sides to accompany the entree, from Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery (Le Guide Culinaire version); and dessert.
“Being a student junior team coach for 12 years and watching the students grow, evolve and really master the skills and techniques is an amazing job,” said Pellizzari. “The team is eager to start training for nationals, and we have a special training camp in mind. We have committed ourselves to coach this level and are super motivated!”
Pan-seared farmed striped bass: shellfish broth, shrimp and scallop dumplings, heirloom beans with shiso and sesame, pickled carrot and butternut squash.
Shaved fennel and arugula salad: orange, pickled red onions, spiced Marcona almonds, oil-cured olives, fennel panna cotta, poached kumquats, pretzel salt cracker and orange emulsion.
Poulet Sauté Saint-Lambert: quenelle de pommes de terre and épinards mère-Louisette.
Coconut and milk chocolate mousse entremets: pistachio crunch, pistachio cake and passion fruit glaze with guava sauce and strawberry kiwi salad with finger lime “caviar.”
The team will compete for the national title against their regional counterparts at Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show, Phoenix, July 15-19.
ACF Regional Culinary Salon Competitions are a part of ACF’s Signature Series, which provides educational and networking opportunities through ChefConnect events and competitions for culinary industry professionals and students. ACF believes that competitions play a vital role in the development of the culinary craft by testing chefs’ and students’ knowledge and skills in a competitive format. To learn more about ACF competitions, eligibility and rules, visit www.acfchefs.org/competitions.