Ivy Tech Fort Wayne announces student winners of annual European Competition for study abroad experience

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne hosted its annual European Competition on Friday. Ten 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 culinary arts in Italy this spring.

2023 European Competition winners from left: Grant Wolfe, Natalie Wright, Ashlyn Young, Isabelle Sims, Maggie Becraft, Esther Powers, and Kattia Tarnow.

Seven students won the opportunity to travel to Italy: Grant Wolfe, Natalie Wright, Ashlyn Young, Isabelle Sims, Maggie Becraft, Esther Powers, and Kattia Tarnow.

“We’re so excited to be able to reward our Hospitality Administration students with this incredible opportunity,” says Amanda Parkinson, Hospitality Administration program chair. “It’s so hard to narrow down the winners because everyone has worked so hard the past two years. They all did amazing, and we’re really proud.”

Culinary students prepared a meal with an appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable, and starch; and a dessert. Baking students prepared items including plated chocolate and fruit desserts, yeast bread and rolls, and a decorated cake.

Kitchen judges watched and rated students as they worked, paying attention to technique and ability. Floor judges blind tasted the completed meals. Judges based their scores on American Culinary Federation (ACF) criteria, and to be considered for the European trip, students must place at bronze standard or higher.

Based on students’ experiences in Italy, they will create the menu for this year’s A Reason to Taste, the College’s largest annual fundraiser. Money raised at A Reason to Taste funds scholarships for the winning students’ European trips.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and appreciate getting the chance to compete,” says Maggie Becraft. “Going to Italy was always something that I dreamed about, but I never knew I’d get to experience it while also learning new things about a subject I love. I think the fact that Ivy Tech offers opportunities like this for us is amazing.”