Palin Hurst

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: My family has always incorporated food into my life. I believe it is what brings people together.

Culinary inspirations: Well-known chefs, such as Chef Ramsay, but some close to home, such as my high school chef/instructor Chef Enly.

Future: I would like to work in a large-scale operation, either catering or in a buffet style. I've looked at places like Hollywood Casino as an option, but I am willing to try anything.

About his menu: A variety of nice, hearty food.

  • Appetizer: A marinated duck ham, smoked and served with sauteed pears and port wine sauce
  • Two soups: A rich oxtail, veggie and barley soup and a winter vegetable Nebraskan borscht
  • A warm Amish potato salad with housemade bacon dressing
  • A variety of entrees, from poached chicken and ratatouille, to a braised lamb stew sampler.

 

Nick Matthews

  • Hometown: Alpharetta, Georgia
  • Theme: Napa Valley
  • Date: Monday, April 19

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I enjoy labor-intensive work, as well as fast-paced work. I also enjoy cooking and experimenting with food.

Culinary inspirations: Chef Roy Choi

Future: My ultimate goal would be an executive chef position in a Cajun seafood restaurant.

Alexis Muthler-Harris

  • Hometown: Jersey Shore, Pa.
  • Theme: New Orleans
  • Date: Monday, April 12

Why she chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Culinary arts is my passion, and so many people have inspired me to go to culinary school. I love that there are so many opportunities, and that it's hands-on training. I also love making people happy.

Culinary inspirations: My high school chef and Gordon Ramsay

Future: I would like to work at a family-style Italian restaurant because that is the type of restaurant I want to own. The capacity doesn't matter, but I love working with people.

About her menu: Oyster po' boy, seafood jambalaya rice salad, turducken roulade, chicory-glazed quail, BBQ pork and beans, Cajun Caesar salad, file gumbo. There will also be a gluten-free menu.

Charlie Suchanec

  • Hometown: Tyrone, Pa.
  • Theme: Chesapeake Bay
  • Date: Wednesday, April 14

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: I love making people happy, and I love cooking, so I thought why not make a career out of it?

Culinary inspirations: The chef that inspired me the most is Grant Achatz.

Future: My ultimate goal is to open a restaurant brewery. I would like to open it in my hometown.

About his menu: I plan on having a duck roulade as an appetizer, oyster soup, and a choice between pear and blue cheese salad or sunchokes and arugula salad. For the entrees, there is a rotisserie pork loin, flounder francaise, grilled tuna loin or the famous crabby chicken.

Darius Williams

  • Hometown: Loyalsock Township, Pa.
  • Theme: Southwest
  • Date: Wednesday, April 21

Why he chose to pursue a culinary-arts education: Cooking has honestly saved me through a lot of tough times. It can truly turn a bad day around with a fun time.

Culinary inspirations: Wylie Dufresne has always caught my eye with his new techniques and ideas with food, constantly learning how to improve his cooking.

Future: I would love to work in a restaurant with other chefs I could consider a family. Someday in the future, I would love to have my own restaurant.

About his menu: We will be serving lamb barbacoa tacos as our appetizer; a creamy corn and green chile soup; and smoked chicken and grilled romaine salads. For entrees, we have char-broiled sea scallops, BBQ coffee-cured beef loin steak (I'm excited for this one), corn-crusted marlin, and a wood-oven-roasted chicken Monterey with a choice of dessert. Everything is prepared by professional staff and American Regional Cuisine students.