The Every year Dining Services Chefs have an opportunity to duke it out and exhibit their culinary skills in our annual Culinary Olympics. We bring in special guest judges from around the area to exert their palates to some very creative culinary experiments. And, all are welcome to stop in and cheer on or jeer on your favorite Chefs.
This year the event will took place at the South Campus / Rome Ballroom located at the University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus on Thursday January 15, 2015. Each year, the creative Dining Services’ chefs seem to raise the culinary bar even higher and this year’s entries were no exception!
We are excited to announce the winners of this year’s Culinary Competition.
THE RECIPE CONTEST
Winners in the Appetizer Category
- 1st Place: Hector Vega – Seasons of Gazpacho
- 2nd Place: Alexis Saucier – Tuna Watermelon Crudo
- 3rd Place: Erik Larkin – Shepherd’s Pie Eggroll
Winners in the Entrée Category
- 1st Place: Hector Vega – Steak and Egg Open Faced Sandwich with Yucca Fries
- 2nd Place: Scott Chapman – Blue Crab and Shrimp Taco with Mango Pico de Gallo
- 3rd Place: Gary Ellis – Bourbon Glazed Bacon Explosion with Smashed Potatoes, Cracklin’ Green Beans and Honey Applesauce
Winners in the Dessert Category
- 1st Place: Frank Cameron – Gluten Free Carrot Cake
- 2nd Place: Bill McKay – Five Citrus Ginger Sorbet
- 3rd Place: Alexis Saucier – Maple Flan with Sautéed Pears
BOILING POINT COMPETITION WINNERS
The surprise basket given to each team contained the following ingredients: Romanesco, Duck Breast, Raisin Juice, Gojuchang (hot red pepper sauce), Molasses Ginger Cookies and Candy Canes. From those ingredients teams had 75 minutes to prepare three different tapas, or appetizers.
1st Place: Team 5, University Catering – Hector Vega, Alexis Saucier, Christina Brault
- Appetizers Created: Ginger Garlic Crostini with Seared Raisin, Chili Duck Breast, Molasses Ginger Duck Stew served with Romanesco Puree, Five Spice Pancake with Ginger Peppermint Sauce
2nd Place: Team 3, South Dining – Ann Marie Meres, Charlie String, Pashupati
- Appetizers Created: Duck Breast Stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle and Raisin Glaze, Romanesco and Asparagus Timbale with Red Pepper Paste, Molasses Blini with Fruit Compote
3rd Place: Team 10, Central Production Kitchen (CPK) – Shawn Fitzgerald, Kim Spaulding, Heidi Howlett
- Appetizers Created: Duck Crostini with Mango Salsa Gojuchang Sauce, Asian Romanesco Quesadilla with Cilantro Lime Viniagrette, Holiday Parfait with Peppermint
Schedule of Events
9:30am Chef Demo
Crispy skin duck breast, spinach & bacon risotto, and a blackberry gastrique.
Jason St. Onge
G-7 Catering Company, Thompson, CT
The “Recipe Contest” that is scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30am. Recipes must be prepared on site for 12 portions, and must fall into one of the following categories: Appetizer / Entrée / Dessert. Recipes will then be judged on the following criteria: Clarity of Recipe / Creativity of Dish / Cooking Techniques / Use of Ingredients / Taste and Texture.
10:30am-12:15pm Recipe Contest Judging
Chef Jason St. Onge, G-7 Catering Company, www.gsevencatering.com
Chef Barbarellen Olsen, Culinary Department Head, Windham Technical High School, www.cttech.org/windham/
Dan Doerr, University of Connecticut, Assistant to the Vice President for Planning and Assessment & Director of Senior Transition Programs. www.uconn.edu/
Chef Will Deason, Willimantic Brewing Company / Main Street Café http://www.willimanticbrewingcompany.com/
10:30am-1:30pm UConn Bakery Demos and Displays
Stop by and learn the art of decorating from our professional pastry chefs and bakers.
12:30pm-4:45pm “Boiling Point” Competition
This is our version of the “Iron Chef” competition that will involve teams of three chefs representing the different dining facilities within the department. Each team will be presented with a mystery box of ingredients, and using miscellaneous items from our pantry, prepare three different Tapas (small food or appetizer) on each plate. Teams will have 75 minutes to prepare their dishes for 4 judges. Teams will then be scored on the following criteria: Creativity of dish / Cooking Techniques / Use of Ingredients / Taste and Textures. (Teams are not allowed to bring ingredients, or use ingredients that are not supplied by competition)
Chef Christopher Prosperi, Chef-Owner, Metro Bis Restaurant.
Rand Richards Cooper, Novelist, Longtime Food and Travel writer and Food Critic with The New York Times.
Chef Marc Hussey, Culinary Consultant for the Connecticut Technical High School System.
Chef Carl Stafford, Professor of Hospitality Management, Manchester Community College.
Award Presentation immediately following Boiling Point
UConn Co-op Bookstore will have an array of cookbooks by various authors available for purchase at the event.