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Iron Student Chefs Announced for Academy of Culinary Arts

April 28, 2014

Eighteen culinary students showed their passion for food and competed in the 10th annual Iron Student Chef competition at the Academy of Culinary Arts located at Atlantic Cape Community College April 28.

At 9:25 a.m. sharp, it was time to start the competition coordinated by ACA Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi of Northfield. The students were organized into four teams. 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: passion fruit. The teams were given passion fruit and a variety of other ingredients and told to produce three plates for each dish, one for display, and the others for judging.

The first place trophy-winning team included: Brian Peters of Egg Harbor Township, Xavier Baskerville of Egg Harbor, Jacob Mann of Marmora, Gianna Cottone of Absecon and Jessica Scannapieco of Egg Harbor Township. Each teammate received a chef’s knife by Mercer Cutlery.

The second place team, silver medal winners: Adam Field of Barnegat, Anthony Dorando of Brick, Lindsay Bender of Galloway and Alexander (Zander) Gatta of Hammonton.

The bronze medal third place team: Bruce Tice of Newfield, Jose Otto of Somers Point, Jonathon Olivo of Toms River, Anthony Scott of Galloway and Eric Larmore of Lumberton.

The winning team’s menu consisted of Pan-seared Scallops with a Parsnip Purée accompanied by a Passion Fruit Reduction Sauce; Deconstructed Lobster and Passion Fruit Salad with a White Balsamic Glaze; Pan-seared Salmon with a Passion Fruit Glaze and a Tropical Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa over Risotto mixed with Quinoa; and for dessert, a Yogurt Mousse Enrobed in a Passion Fruit Glaze paired with a Passion Fruit Cake.

ACA Chef Educator Vincent Tedeschi and Atlantic City Country Club Executive Chef Edward Daggers were this year’s tasting judges. Kitchen judges were ACA Chef Educators Daniel J. Matt and Philip Cragg.

Judging was based on a possible 50 points, including 10 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. The Academy offers two-year degree programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry, food service management, and specialization programs in hot foods, baking and pastry, and food service management and catering. Full-time classes meet five hours a day, Monday through Friday, in morning, afternoon or evening sessions. Registration for the fall semester is under way. For more information about the ACA, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, email, or visit

To see more photos from the event click here.