GMC Breaking News

Jun 28, 2022, 19:55

Monroe College Announces America’s Best High School Chef and Pastry Chef in 5th-Annual Competition

On March 2, Monroe College hosted more than 40 high-school students from throughout the New York City metro area as they competed for the titles of America’s Best High School Chef and Pastry Chef in the fifth-annual competition sponsored by the Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts in The Bronx.

First-, Second- and Third-Place Winners

America's Best Chef:

1. Abdallah Farraj, Port Richmond High School, Staten Island

2. Anthony Evans, Harry S. Truman High School, Bronx

3. Carlesha Alston, Food and Finance High School, Manhattan

America's Best Pastry Chef:

1. Kiana Cruz, William E. Grady High School, Brooklyn

2. Paula Lara, Port Richmond High School, Staten Island

3. Queenasia Bonds, Food and Finance High School, Manhattan

The day began with a knife-skills session, where students had 30 minutes to successfully slice an onion, orange, carrot and potatoes. All competitors moved on to a salad round, which yielded eight finalists who were to compete in the final “mystery basket” round.

The student chefs were given one hour to complete a meal using the ingredients from the mystery basket, which turned out to be a chicken, fingerling potatoes, goat cheese, tomatoes and string beans, while the pastry chefs simultaneously competed for their own chance at a title.

“The professionalism and creativity from these students is amazing,” commented Dean Frank Costantino. “When you see how passionate they are about their craft, you know that the scholarships are going to the right people.”

The first-place winner in each category was awarded a full academic scholarship to attend Monroe. The second- and third-place winners in both categories were awarded academic scholarships worth $2,500 to $3,500, and all participants of the competition were given $1,500 scholarships.

“Over the years we have found that some of our best Monroe student/chefs are those who have won and participated in this competition,” said Costantino. “These students have a talent and determination that will help them excel in whatever they do.”

Photo(l. to r.): Anthony Evans, Kiana Cruz, Abdallah Farraj, Frank Costantino, Carlesha Alston, Paula Lara, Queenasia Bonds.