Students Use Products From Local Farms in Cooking Contest
The two-man team of Cy C. Heller and R. Colby Janowitz were the top finishers in a tough competition. It was not the students’ first exposure to culinary competition. All are juniors and seniors in the culinary arts and systems bachelor-degree major, and several completed a capstone course, Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment, in the spring semester. All were out to produce a tasty, creative and visually appealing dish.
As teams set up in the morning, they received a bag with three required ingredients: Delmonico steak, shoulder bacon (also called cottage bacon) and ginger. In addition, they were required to use at least one of the following: honey, hemp seed oil, maple syrup or cheese. All of the ingredients were purchased from growers at the market.
Each team was allotted $20 to purchase additional ingredients from market vendors to round out its dish.
Heller and Janowitz’s winning dish included ginger-marinated Delmonico steak, potato hash and spaghetti squash. Heller is from Milton and Janowitz is from Westminster, Maryland.
Sarah B. Fiedler, of Lock Haven, and Katlyn J. Hackling, of Williamsport, took second with their dish: Delmonico with beef red pepper glaze, cabbage and carrot vinegar slaw, sautéed rainbow chard with bacon, garlic-thyme potatoes, and fried shallots.
Third place went to Christopher S. Kasler, of Williamsport, and Kassandra S. Sellinger, of Linden. To accompany their Delmonico steak, the two prepared an apple, delicata squash and carrot flower; crispy potatoes; and kombucha, ginger and apple sabayon.
Fourth place went to Paige E. Cooke, of Wayne, and Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont. They marinated their Delmonico steak in apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger and thyme and served it with rainbow carrots, baby peppers and maple bacon, and potato hay (then French fries) with thyme and rosemary. They topped the dish with a fried egg.
In fifth, students Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie, and Jessica T. Haynes, of Bethlehem, prepared Delmonico steak with balsamic and bacon coleslaw and purple potatoes.
The competition was organized by Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, in memory of his wife, Mary. Funds for the products that were purchased from the growers, and for the prizes for student winners, were donated in memory of Mary.
“Mary loved the Growers Market,” Ditchfield said. “She loved working with Anne Nordell and her friends at Beech Grove Farm. She loved seeing the many people in the community that she knew. She wanted to do something she believed in, and that was working with and preparing local, healthy food.”
The student dishes were judged on the accuracy of their cooking methods, seasoning, texture, overall flavor, aroma, color, and overall appearance and creativity. Judges were Ditchfield; Nordell; Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts; and Bob Wise, of Lock Haven, a Growers Market shopper whose name was drawn as a guest judge.
In addition to supporting local farmers, the competition provided an opportunity for culinary arts students to interact with producers and experience the quality of fresh, local ingredients.
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– Photos by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/magazine editor
Christopher S. Kasler, of Williamsport, keeps a watchful eye on the potatoes that will accompany his team’s Delmonico steak.
The first-place duo: R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md., and Cy C. Heller, of Milton. Heller adds potato hash to a mold that helps to form a tidy base layer for their entrée.
Sarah B. Fiedler, of Lock Haven, arranges garlic-thyme potatoes on one of her team’s plates.
Jessica T. Haynes (left), of Bethlehem, and Magdalen C. Bennett, of Erie, show their dish, a Delmonico steak with balsamic bacon coleslaw and purple potatoes.
Delmonico steak with balsamic bacon coleslaw and purple potatoes, prepared by Bennett and Haynes.
The third-place winner: Delmonico steak with an apple, delicata squash and carrot flower; crispy potatoes; and kombucha, ginger and apple sabayon, prepared by Kasler and Kassandra S. Sellinger, of Linden
The second-place dish: Delmonico steak with beef red pepper glaze, cabbage and carrot vinegar slaw, sautéed rainbow chard with bacon, garlic-thyme potatoes, and fried shallots, prepared by Fiedler and Katlyn J. Hackling, of Williamsport
Paige E. Cooke, of Wayne, fries an egg to top her team’s competition plate.
Delmonico steak marinated in apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger and thyme, with rainbow carrots, baby peppers, maple bacon, potato hay and fried egg, prepared by Cooke and Paul J. Herceg, of Chalfont
Brian D. Walton (back center), assistant dean of business and hospitality, listens in as judges deliberate. The judging panel (from left) comprised Growers Market patron Bob Wise, of Lock Haven; Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management and culinary arts; Chef Paul Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management and culinary arts; and Anne Nordell, of Beech Grove Farm and a member of the Williamsport Outdoor Growers Association.
The day’s culinary arts team: From left, Ditchfield, Sellinger, Kasler, Heller, Cooke, Haynes, Bennett, Mach, Herceg, Janowitz, Hackling and Fiedler