From A-B Tech:
A-B Tech Community College’s Culinary Team recently competed in the American Culinary Federation Student Team National “Final Four” Championship for a record eighth time. This year’s contest was held in Kansas City in July.
A-B Tech has had a team in the national finals more than any other student team in the history of the competition, winning first place in 2007. The 2014 team members were Alex Harris, Caroline Williams, Ruth Solis, Jay O’Hannon and Kristina Costa.
One team from each region earned the right to compete in national competition. A-B Tech represented the Southeast and went up against Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles; Johnson & Wales University of Providence, R.I. and Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan. None of the competing teams received a gold medal at nationals, but the top three finishers received silver medals, with A-B Tech placing third by a narrow margin.
“The team this year epitomized professionalism, drive and integrity. The students treated the judges and their fellow competitors with the utmost respect. They gave their best efforts and presented well-crafted food,” said Chef Matt Tracy, Culinary Arts Education Chair.
The competition requires student teams to prepare 24 plates of a four-course signature meal. Criteria include the flavor, taste, texture and doneness of their foods; serving methods; portion sizes and creativity. Medals are awarded based on the number of points teams earn from a possible 40. A score of 36 is needed to receive gold. Floor judges also evaluate their organization, sanitation, teamwork, workflow, and cooking techniques and knife skills.
“They are an incredible team … professional, focused and well-skilled,” said Chef Sheila Tillman, Associate Dean of Hospitality Education. “A-B Tech comes with a standard and our students continually raise the standard at competition. This team doesn’t have to be motivated. They have the drive to push themselves toward excellence.”