A-B Tech Community College’s Student Culinary Team won its 10th regional title after competition January 13-14 at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte.
Team members were Emma Wieber, Jessica Olin, Habiba Smallen, Nina Patterson and Emily Welch. Max Theofrastous serves as team alternate. Chefs Chris Bugher and Bronwen McCormick are the team coaches.
“Being a part of The Hot Food Team has taken me beyond the limits I ever expected for myself. Competing with the team has taught me how important preparation is before any competition. I felt driven to be more organized and think more quickly in the moment,” said team member Smallen.
The team will now compete in the American Culinary Federation national competition July 9-13 in Orlando, Fla. A-B Tech has had teams compete at the national level nine times before in the contest’s history, winning the national title in 2007.
“I am so proud of our team for winning the Southeast Regional competition,” said Chef Bugher. “They have worked countless hours outside of their already busy schedule to make sure they were prepared. Now we have to focus on Nationals. They are introducing an edible cold platter to this phase of the competition and we want to be the first school to win in this new format.”
Each team has to create an assigned classical dish each year. This year it was the fish starter course of Filets de Sôle Lady Egmont. They are also required to create a salad, entrée, and dessert and demonstrate kitchen skills. The menu also consisted of petite greens with goat cheese panna cotta and country ham; chicken sauté with pan sauce, vegetables and forcemeat barquette and apple juniper chicken sausage; and pomegranate and red wine poached pear and pecan cake with bourbon mousse.