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Student Chefs Take First in Platinum Chef Ohio

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A team of Hiram College students proved they are Ohio’s top college chefs at AVI Fresh’s annual Platinum Chef Ohio competition on April 10, 2014.

Jake Sellstrom ’16, Elliot Lopes ’14, Shova Ale Magar ’14, Luana Correia ’14 and James Louive ’15, took first place and $2,500 in cash prizes, in a competition against Kenyon College, Malone University, Tiffin University and the University of Mount Union. AVI Fresh, based in Warren, provides food services for all colleges in the competition.

This year’s competition took place at Malone University in Canton. An AVI Fresh chef advised each team in preparing multiple courses in a set amount of time, using the mystery ingredient: rhubarb.

The Hiram College team, under the wing of AVI Chef Joel Johnson, prepared the following winning menu:

  • Rhubarb and apple chilled soup with the hint of fresh mint
  • Peruvian mashed potato with Rosemary
  • Pan sauteed duck with a fresh pear and rhubarb chutney.

The judges, John Coker, executive vice president of corporate strategy and brand development at AVI; Steve Schimoler chef and owner of Crop Bistro in Cleveland; Allen Fraley, director of the Malone Fund at Malone University; Mark Kohlman, chief business officer at Kenyon College; and Nick Keck, regional chef in AVI’s vending and dining division, judged teams on their ability to demonstrate teamwork, presentation, flavor, creativity and sanitation skills.

Schimoler, the celebrity guest judge, also provided a cooking demonstration for guests and participants. Part of the Hiram team’s prize package includes a private dining experience at Crop Bistro.

Each team participating in the April 12 competition won its school’s preliminary competition. Read more and view photos of the Hiram competition, which took place on Feb. 27, 2014.

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