Fort Wayne Campus announces eight student winners to travel to Europe, study culinary arts

Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus hosted its 22nd annual European Competition on Friday. Eleven hospitality administration students in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts spent the day competing for a chance to win a scholarship that would fund a trip to study the culinary arts in France this spring.

The winners are DominiQue Whetstone, Jason Elkins, Jacob Burger, Joyce Chaney, Reba Wilson, Nora Trittipo, Samantha Williams, and Lisa Rios.

Eleven hospitality administration students competed Friday in Ivy Tech’s European Competition. Eight students won the opportunity to travel to France to study the culinary arts. For the first time, those students who did not score high enough to go to France will still get a travel opportunity, to Vermont. The competing students are, from left, Reba Wilson (France), La’Ron Gillard (Vermont), Joyce Chaney (France), DominiQue Whetstone (France), Lisa Rios (France), Sheila Mertens (Vermont), Nora Trittipo (France), Samantha Williams (France), and Patricia Jones (Vermont). Not pictured: Jason Elkins (France) and Jacob Burger (France).

For the first time, students were asked to turn in a menu before competing. In previous years, students’ ingredients were unknown, requiring them to create menus on-the-spot. This year, students’ adherence to the menu played a part in their scoring. It also resulted in more creative menus, says Cheryl Hitzemann, one of the baking competition judges. Hitzemann will also serve as chaperone when the students travel to France.

Culinary students prepared a meal including an entrée with a starch, vegetable, and dessert. Baking students prepared items including plated chocolate and fruit desserts, yeast bread and rolls, and a decorated cake based on a hypothetical order.

Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes sneak peek into the spring 2018 European Competition.

Kitchen judges watched and rated students as they worked, paying attention to technique and ability. Floor judges tasted the completed meals, not knowing which student made which plate.

Based on students’ experience in France, they will create the menu for this year’s A Reason to Taste, the College’s largest annual fundraiser.

The three students who did not earn the chance to study in France will still receive a travel opportunity: a road trip to Vermont for a farm-to-fork tour in May. On the trip, students will have experiences including a tour of the Baird Farm, an organic maple syrup farm; a chance to watch cheese-making; learning how to milk a cow; and a visit to King Arthur Flour headquarters. Those students are La’Ron Gillard, Patricia Jones, and Sheila Mertens.

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