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Atlantic Cape’s Iron Student Chef Competition Winners Announced

April 23, 2012

Twenty-five culinary students gathered in Careme’s gourmet restaurant on the campus of Atlantic Cape Community College to get their cooking orders on April 23. 

At 9:30 a.m. sharp, it was time to start the 8th annual Iron Student Chef competition sponsored by the Culinary Student Association at Atlantic Cape’s Academy of Culinary Arts and coordinated by Chef Vincent Tedeschi of Northfield. The students were organized into five teams of five. Their mission: to create four dishes, each incorporating a tightly guarded secret ingredient revealed only minutes before the start of cooking. The teams were given 15 minutes to create recipes and 90 minutes to cook. 

The secret ingredient to be included in each team’s four dishes, from appetizers to entrees: Porgy (also known as Scup, a northern Atlantic fish). The teams were given Porgy and a variety of other ingredients and told to produce two plates for each dish, one for display, and the other for judging.

The first place trophy-winning team included: Vincent Bruzzese of Williamstown, Alicia Grunewald of Hammonton, LeeAnn McGovern of Berlin, Nick Salvatore of Hammonton and Lou Solometo of Washington Township.  

The second place team, silver medal winners: Peter Almonte of Pennsauken, Adam Bergman of Toms River, Andrew Montchyk of Bellmawr, Brian Murray of Blackwood and Alex Valletta of Brigantine.

The bronze medal third place team: Joe Mikitish of Cherry Hill, Devin Plenderleith of Somers Point, Brandon Puckett of Vineland, Alex Waters of Egg Harbor Township and John Zaitoun of Egg Harbor Township. 

The winning team prepared a Porgy Ceviche with an Asian Slaw, Porgy-stuffed Red Pepper, Porgy Tacos and a Thai-Coconut Porgy Soup.

Guest judges were Chef Gef Flimlin, professor and marine extension agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Chef Steven Cozzi, executive chef, Fuze Restaurant in Avalon. Judging was based on a possible 50 points. Ten points each for flavor, knowledge of item, presentation, originality and sanitation. Teams lost 10 points for lateness and 10 points if kitchen/lab clean up was not satisfactory.

The Academy hosts the Iron Student Chef competition each spring. For more information on the Academy of Culinary Arts, call (800) 645-CHEF or visit