The Monroe College Hell’s Kitchen competition brought a little heaven to the Culinary Arts Center in New Rochelle, NY on Wednesday, August 1 as the Advanced Culinary class staged its final exam for the Spring semester by serving full three-course meals to some of the area’s best-known executive chefs and a number of college administrators.
“This is an example of the real-world educational experience that is a Monroe staple,” Culinary Arts Director Chef Daniel Hinder said after the event. “By handling the final exam in this manner, we give the students a better sense of the pressures of creating quality food for discerning customers. It helps them work harder, do better, and learn more.”
The guests selected their dinner from a menu that included Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese and Beer Soup, Chicken Consomme Brunoise; Classic Caesar Salad, Baby Spinach, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad; and entrées of Roasted Fillet of Salmon with Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Crust, Beurre Blanc, Saffron Rice, Haricot Vert with Roasted Peppers and Spicy Pecans; Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce, Delmonico Potatoes and Sautéed Spinach; and Grilled Chicken with Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, Gnocci and Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Olive Oil.
The class was organized into two groups for the competition (Blue Team, Red Team) and the guests were given critique forms to grade each item served.
“The event was presented very well,” noted Chef Philip DeMaiolo, who is the Executive Chef at Pier Sixty, the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. “I liked that it was set up in the Culinary Arts
Center kitchen and dining in the company of other chefs made it great,” he said.
In the end, it was the Red Team that emerged victorious. As a reward, the team captain was given a Wusthof Premier 8-inch French Knife and the team members received F. Dick 7-inch Japanese Chef’s Knives.
The Professors who supervised the competition were Chef Leonard Brickel and Chef Tracy Zimmerman. The dinner was served by students from the Dining Room Management Class led by Professor Sheah Dash.