Monroe College’s Culinary Institute of New York to Host 10th Annual "America’s Best High School Chef” Competition on March 10

Thirty-six students were selected for the invitation-only culinary competition, with another 12 selected to compete in the pastry category. Interested high school seniors had submitted applications to compete earlier this year.

The winners will be awarded full academic scholarships to attend Monroe College’s Culinary Institute of New York (CINY), which has been ranked one of the top 20 culinary programs in the country. CINY offers a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, which includes an Associate degree in Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, or Baking and Pastry Arts.

“This will be our tenth year hosting the annual 'America's Best High School Chef’ competition, which has helped so many creative, driven future chefs earn their college education and start their journeys toward fulfilling careers in culinary, baking, and pastry,” said Frank Costantino EdD CEC CCE CCA AAC, Dean of Monroe College’s School of Hospitality Management and CINY. “We have a very diverse, talented group coming in this year, and we look forward to seeing what they do in our kitchens to showcase their technical skills, culinary passion, and plating finesse.”

The culinary competition includes a series of three rounds of competition comprising basic skills, salad basket, and mystery basket challenges. All students participating in the ABHSC culinary competition will be required to compete in the Basic Skills Round. The 16 students with the highest overall score in that round will move on to the semi-final Salad Basket Round. The top eight students from that round will progress to the Mystery Basket Round, which will require them to prepare and plate an elegant dish of their choosing created from a select set of ingredients. The winner of that round will be awarded the “America’s Best High School Chef” title and the academic scholarship. Additional scholarship funds will be awarded to those placing second and third in the competition.

The pastry competition requires the competitors to prepare their signature upscale dessert within a 90-minute timeframe. It must include five key components: the main item, a sauce, a cookie or crisp item, chocolate, and fruit.

Casey Creazzo, the winner of last year’s pasty competition, is currently pursuing her culinary education at CINY. She is a graduate of Passaic County Technical Institute, a public high school in Wayne, NJ. The 2016 winners -- Julie Velasquez, also from Passaic County Technical Institute (pastry), and Ameia Peters from Food & Finance High School in midtown New York -- are expected to receive their Associate degrees this year. Both Ms. Creazzo and Ms. Velazquez are members of the CINY competition team that won the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) regional championship in late January.

The Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College is an award-winning, nationally recognized culinary institute that provides students with a combination of theoretical education and hands-on experience in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality management. With facilities designed to simulate the kitchens of restaurants, hotels, and large production operations, students receive personal instruction and mentorship from a faculty of ACF-certified chefs and experienced industry professionals who are committed to their success.

Since 2009, the program has produced award-winning culinary teams, students, faculty and staff, as well as a critically acclaimed student-run restaurant, The Dining Lab, which was deemed a "training ground for students" by The Wall Street Journal and "the little kitchen that could" by The New York Times. Its culinary competition team was named New York State Champions three times in the last four years and was named the New York State Regional Champion again in 2018. CINY has won more than 850 ACF medals to date. More information, including admissions criteria, is available online.

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