The top 4 students chosen based on their scores from the Salad Basket Round will advance to the Final Four and compete in the Final Round.
Each student will have 60 minutes total time to demonstrate their skills and creativity by completing the following task:
Prepare 2 identical portions of an entrée that one would find in an upscale restaurant using ingredients from a mystery basket.
The mystery basket will include one protein item plus 6 other items, 5 common and 1 uncommon.
In considering what protein possibilities they might expect, students should plan on having a comfort level with either whole chicken or round fish. Common ingredients include those that one would find in a basic produce or dried goods pantry: i.e. potatoes, mushrooms, rice, etc. An uncommon ingredient is just that, something that is not usually found except in a specialty pantry. This could be a flavoring ingredient like lemongrass or capers, or it could be an uncommon vegetable like artichoke or Asparagus, or it could be an uncommon dairy ingredient like asiago cheese or crème fraiche. Regardless of the ingredient, it will be harmonious with the others in the basket.
It should be noted that the finalists are required to use some of each ingredient in the assigned basket; however, they do not need to use the entire quantities given in the basket.
Besides the required basket, students will have a common basket of ingredients to choose from which include basic pantry staples: dried herbs and spices, olive and canola oil, salt and pepper, flour, cornstarch and sugar, etc. There will also be basic dairy; butter, cream, parmesan cheese and basic vegetables; garlic, onions, carrots, celery, Italian parsley plus 2 other types of fresh herbs. A complete list will be forwarded to the students selected to enter the competition.