The Monroe Culinary team travelled to Niagara Falls, NY amid brutally cold temperatures, and warmed the hearts of the judges, earning 2d place overall and 5 silver medals. The team, led by team captain, senior Katherine Taveras, C-cap Philadelphia (Frankford HS), finished 2d to the host school, Niagara Institute of Culinary Arts, SUNY, and ahead of, Schenectady CC, SUNY (3d), and perennial favorite, SUNY Delhi (4th). Paul Smith’s College finished 5th this year. Joining Katherine was America’s Best HS Chef and Pastry Chef 2012, Yocary Luna, C-Cap NY (Food and Finance HS) and Laura Sanchez, Prostart NJ (Passaic County Technical Institute). Carmen Albino, C-cap Staten Island (Port Richmond HS) and Rossella Cangialosi, Long Island Skills USA (East Meadow HS, Barry Tech BOCES) rounded out the five member competition team. Team assistants included Courtney Boyle, NJ Skills USA student (North Hunterdon HS), Eyrricka Prescott, C-cap Arizona student (Casa Grande Union HS), Danielle Carino, C-cap NY student (Food and Finance HS) and Angelina Hernandez, NJ Prostart student (Passaic County Technical Institute). Shamel Donigan, assistant coach, BBA Hospitality Grad ’13 and current MBA student travelled with the team and Chefs Pellizzari, Molloy and Vignapiano also made the trip in support of the team. The girls cooked their hearts out amid very challenging conditions in the kitchen with weather-related power outages and subsequent loss of cooking power, coming up two minutes late in the 90 minute window, yet delivering what the judges felt was some of the best tasting food on the day. I am so proud of the effort they put forth and of their level of commitment in representing Monroe Culinary with pride, passion and professionalism. It was a wonderful experience to coach these talented young ladies.