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IUP Student Culinary Team Medals Again

Academy of Culinary Arts students Bradley Drake, John Mink, J’aime Abramowitz, and Megan Kauffman kicked off the Spring 2014 semester in a heated competition and took home a bronze medal.

On January 10, these IUP Baking students participated in American Culinary Federation-sanctioned culinary competition at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

For the second year in a row, the IUP team was the only all-student team out of 10 teams of professional chefs taking part in the competition. IUP’s team agreed that the competition was more fun the second time around. “I felt more like a comrade than just a student,” Drake said.

The night before the competition, all teams received a 15-piece mystery basket which included duck, king crab, monkfish, pork belly, blood oranges, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and more.

Competition menus had to include an appetizer or salad, entrée, and a soup or dessert, with the team using at least part of all the mystery ingredients. Participants also had to create a buffet platter with enough food to serve 10 people, along with two plated servings for judging and photography.

Grilled Crab and Brussel Sprouts SlawThe team had a tight two-hour window to complete their dishes. They served Grilled Crab with Brussels Sprout Slaw as the appetizer followed by Blood Orange and Balsamic Glazed Duck. They concluded the meal with Bose Pear and Cranberry Galette. Their buffet platter featured Poached Monk Fish Canapé.

Judges were critical but constructive. “Technically [the dishes] needed work, but [they] were on point with taste,” Abramowitz said.

This team's efforts in competition earned them two bronze medals and even more educational experience. In less than four months, each member will move on to their next culinary challenge—a full-time externship position at a prestigious resort.

Drake, Mike, and Abramowitz will be expanding their culinary and baking expertise at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; Kauffman will be honing her skills at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst just four hours away.

Academy of Culinary Arts

  • Academy of Culinary Arts
  • 1012 Winslow Street
    Punxsutawney, PA 15767
  • Phone: 800-438-6424
  • Fax: 814-938-1158
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.