Chefs and Students Cook-off for Local Food Pantry

Posted on 2/21/2017 4:20:21 PM

Chefs Rupert, Steele, McIsaac, and BarnesJoin us as culinary faculty and student teams face-off in a cooking show-style competition. Sponsored by the Escoffier Club at the IUP Academy of Culinary Arts and Aramark, this fun-filled culinary event will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, in the IUP Punxsutawney Learning Center. Cost of admission is the donation of a nonperishable food item. 

Similar to the Food Networks’ Chopped show, culinary teams will compete against one another to prepare a spectacular, three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The catch? In each round, they have to use all the ingredients provided to them in a “mystery” basket. The teams do not know what items are in the basket prior to the day of competition.

Teams made up of culinary and baking students will be led by faculty members Martha Jo Rupert, Jaclyn Steele, Melinda McIsaac, and Thomas Barnes.

No cooking competition is complete without a judging panel, and, this year, we are pleased to announce that our judges will include four IUP alumni:

  • Jonathan Nagy ’03, culinary arts instructor at Carrick High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Heidi (Miller) Serena ’08, general manager of Gluuteny Bakery in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Bradley Drake ’14, sous chef at the Springfield Grille in Boardman, Ohio
  • John Druschel ’98 executive chef at Rustic Lodge in Indiana, Pa. 

The judges will taste and award points for each course and finish up with a final round of judging to determine the winning team.

Come watch and cheer for our students and faculty as they compete. (Did we mention the teams will be sharing samples of their competition menu items with the audience?)