Florida Tech Brings Home Silver Medal from Chef Culinary Conference

Florida Tech’s Campus Dining team won a silver medal at the recently concluded 29th Annual Chef Culinary Conference, the second consecutive year the team has taken a top honor.

The weeklong conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst concludes with the competition. Sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation, the event involved 13 university teams required to prepare a three-course menu (choice of appetizer/entree/dessert) for four and one buffet platter for 10 servings plus one plated serving for the judges.

For their silver medal-winning meal, the Florida Tech team of Executive Chef Jon Skoviera, Pastry Chef Jennifer Manaseri, Production Chef Crystal Mensch and Sous Chef Steven Concis prepared Pan-Fried Oysters over Wilted Power Greens with Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Crispy Ocean Perch with Bean and Vegetable Medley and for dessert, Peaches and Cream Tart with Raspberry Compote. Their buffet platter was Seared Pork Tenderloin with Charred Bok Choy and Thai Peanut Sauce.

Florida Tech Campus Dining has now won seven medals at seven competitions.

“This competition pushes your knowledge and skills in a unique way,” Skoviera said. “It was a great experience with an amazing team, and we’re excited to bring our experiences back to campus.”

Mensch added, “It was fun to work with them and learn new techniques. After not competing for four years, it was nice to win a silver medal and know that our team didn’t lose our touch.”

The competition presents each four-person team with a “market basket” of foods and products. They then have 60 minute to devise a menu. No substitutions of basket items are allowed. Each team then has three hours of cooking time (two hours for plated and one hour for buffet) and a 30-minute plating window.

“This is a timed, mystery-basket-style competition and very complex,” noted Evan Olsen, director of Campus Dining. “I am so proud of how our team represented Florida Tech on a national stage.  I only wish I was there to taste those amazing dishes!”

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