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PECI chefs cook up second place at Iron Chef Competition

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Prince Edward Collegiate Institute team of chefs took second place at the Saturday’s 13th annual Iron Chef Competition at Loyalist College.

Jared Hartley, Keith Petrasek, Zeb Snider, and Emily VanGrootheste with Jason Hamilton as alternate, were coached by Chef Michael Sullivan of the Merrill Inn in Picton.

PECI-Iron-Chefs-2“He volunteered his time to coach the team and practised with them every Monday and Wednesday after school until 6:30 p.m. or later, every week,” says teacher Heather Munroe, teacher in charge along with Suzanne White.

St. Peter Catholic Secondary School of Peterborough won the title of Junior Iron Chef. The Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute, from Kingston, placed third.

During the competition, each of the finalist teams prepared a three-course menu, which they had been practising since the preliminary competition in September.

“The team finished the semi-finals with high praise, and in first place with a score of 98 per cent,” said Munroe. “Judges commented on everything from their communication skills, to safety skills, recipe knowledge, cleanliness, and of course taste and presentation.”

Michael worked with the team to create the following menu:

Appetizer: Portobello mushrooms and pancetta cannelloni with leeks two ways, two sauces: celery root, leek and spinach, drizzled with sundried tomato oil

Main: Bacon wrapped pork medallions with siu mai cabbage roll, radish and apple slaw, gaufrette potatoes, beans and edamame

Dessert:  Opera cake with orange anglaise and raspberries

Members of the winning team were each awarded a $500 Loyalist bursary applicable to any Loyalist program, as well as gift certificates to be used toward kitchen equipment and supplies for their school.  In recognition of their hard work and dedication, members of the second place team each received a $300 Loyalist bursary, and members of the third place team each received a $200 bursary.

“This year was really something special – we were blown away,” said Chef John Schneeberger, judge, along with Loyalist Culinary Management students Brennan Roy and Betty Van Wort. “Each of the teams deserves a lot of credit and a round of applause.”

“The students who competed in this competition are passionate about what they are doing, and it shows,” added Roy. “Their skill level is outstanding.”

The event was organized by second-year Loyalist Culinary Management students to enable the aspiring chefs to showcase their knowledge and skills in the kitchen.

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