Heated cook-off competitions at Art Institute

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fourteen aspiring chefs with a craving for culinary excellence put their kitchen skills to the test as they competed for tuition scholarships on Saturday, March 15, at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta. At the end of the day, three stood triumphant.

Michael Young from Blythewood High School, Blythewood, S.C., took a gold medal and first place and Ashley Winn from Elyria Catholic High School, Elyria, Ohio, took a silver medal and second in The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef Competition for high school seniors. Trevor Moorer from Georgetown, S.C., placed first and was awarded a gold medal in The Art Institutes Culinary Scholarship Competition.

During the cook-off competition, the finalists were asked to showcase their talent and skill by preparing and serving a two-course meal in just two hours.

The meal consisted of an appetizer of Shrimp Cocktail and an entrée of Sautéed Chicken Breast with Creative Garnish, Rice Pilaf and Broccoli Sauté.

Competitors were judged on five technical skills including knife skills, safety, sanitation, organization, cooking techniques and clean-up, and five qualities of the finished dishes – temperature, taste, texture, portion size and presentation.

Young was awarded a $4,000 tuition scholarship, Winn a $1,000 tuition scholarship and Moorer a $1,500 tuition scholarship to The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Charleston.

In addition, the first-place winners in both categories will move on to be considered for a “Chopped”-style cooking competition in New York in April. The winner of that competition will receive a $40,000 tuition scholarship.

“I am part Italian, so my whole family loves Italian food,” said Young.

“My favorite dish to eat and prepare is Chicken Piccata.”

Moorer said, “I spend the majority of my time in the kitchen. I would like to go into low-income areas to teach and share my passion for the culinary arts with young people who may not have had the same opportunities that I had.”

Cook-off competitions were held at all participating International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes locations across the U.S. and Canada in March.

In addition to earning their scholarship awards, all local Best Teen Chef first-place winners will have the opportunity to win a trip to New York City for a very special food experience.

For more information, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/culinary or contact The Art Institute of Charleston at 843-727-3500.

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