Via A-B Tech:
A team of five A-B Tech Culinary Arts students earned first place and a gold medal during state competition Jan. 7 at Alamance Community College in Graham, propelling them to the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) regional competition.
The team is judged on not only on the flavor and presentation of the food, but on knife and butchery skills, workflow, organization, and sanitation, according to coach Chef Bronwen McCormick. “All of these things are taken into consideration,” she said.
Two certified master chefs served as judges and they gave comments, including “excellent on all items, worked well as a team and it showed in the food” and “appetizer had excellent visual appeal, it said ‘come and get me.’”
A gold medal is awarded to a team scoring between 36 and 40 points, with 40 being a perfect score. A-B Tech’s teams scored 37.79, a feat made possible by exemplary teamwork, according to Chef Eric Backer, who also serves as a coach
“There is a lot to be said in putting out good food but when it boils down, it comes down to the team. You can pick five people to do this at the beginning of the season and there is no guarantee that they are going to mesh. I believe that is a huge factor in their success. They behave like brothers,” said Backer.
Students will compete Feb. 20-22 in Winston Salem at the ACF’s Southeast Regional conference. Members, who each have their own are of specialty in meal preparation, are captain Tony Powell, Morgan Heneghan (salad), Drew McLeod (appetizer), Josué Garcia (dessert) and Jamie Witzleben, (entrée).
“These are all brand-new team members. They have never competed before but trained very hard,” said McCormick. “They exemplified the three Ps - the team was poised, prepared and professional. The word ‘outstanding’ was used a number of times by the judges. They did what they were trained to do and were rewarded with a gold medal.”Read the full article
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