Kent Springborn Jr.
The Greater Northeast Ohio Culinary Classic was held at Lorain County Community College’s Norton Culinary Building from Jan. 28-29. Over 40 chefs from all over the United States came to compete in the competition. Included among the chefs were local professional chefs and eight LCCC culinary students.
Out of the eight LCCC culinary students that competed in the competition, seven won awards including, Andrew Lorince, Caitlyn Doyle, Laurence Fenderson, Don Jacobsen, Ray Garza, Kristina Mullen, and Jasmine Motley. Most of these students have competed in previous culinary competitions. The students, under Schmith’s guidance, started preparing for the competition eight weeks prior. This year also saw more LCCC culinary students competing than previous years.
“[The] trend is more students are wanting to compete,” said Schmith.
The event was a professional and student competition that tested the skills of chefs across the board. Each chef was put into a tight timeline where they have to make a dish from scratch of a recipe that they prepared ahead of time all while a judge watches them closely.
“Judges are pretty much in their face the entire time,” said LCCC Culinary Program Chef, Adam Schmith.
Each chef started at 100 points and were deducted points from there, with 70 points being the minimum score required to win an award.
Lorince won silver for his dish while Doyle, Fenderson, Jacobsen, Garza, Mullen, and Motley won bronze for their individual dishes. However, Mullen was close to winning silver for her dish.
“I was five points away from silver,” she said. One of the points of criticism that Mullen attributes for her near miss of silver was that one of the judges felt that the ratatouille that she made was not ratatouille, but instead stewed vegetables.
Overall, the competition was a positive experience for these LCCC students, each explaining how they were able to further improve their skills.
“It teaches us how to work better on our own,” said Doyle. Competing has put them ahead of their classmates and pushes them to be better, Jacobson said.