Monroe College’s Culinary Institute of New York Wins 2019 ACF New York State Championship for the Fourth Time in Five Years

NEW ROCHELLE, NY – December 11, 2018 – Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, today announced that students from its Culinary Institute of New York (CINY) earned the American Culinary Federation (ACF) 2019 New York State Championship title for the second consecutive year – and the fourth time in the last five years.

The annual ACF New York State Championship was held on December 1st at Schenectady County Community College. The competition was strong this year, as talented teams from SUNY Delhi and SUNY Schenectady County Community College, among others, impressed judges and peers alike with their skills and creativity. Monroe’s team ultimately triumphed, however, winning the title of New York State Champion.

The members of Monroe’s championship-winning team are:

  • Casey Creazzo (team captain) from West Milford, NJ
  • Tyler Johns (team alternate) from Tucson, AZ
  • Geannaby Hernandez from Bronx, NY
  • Joanna Parson from Paterson, NJ
  • Lilibeth Velazquez from Hawthorne, NJ

Frank C. Costantino, Dean of Monroe College’s School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Institute of New York, said: "The CINY culinary team worked tirelessly to prepare for this competition, and their passion and talent proudly showed on the plate. We look forward to defending our 2018 regional title at the ACF Northeast Student Team Regional Competition in Atlantic City next February and hopefully moving on to the national competition in early summer.”

There are two key phases to the ACF New York State Championship competition. The first is a technical skills salon, during which students must exhibit mastery of butchery, fish fabrication, precision knife work, zesting and peeling of citrus fruits, pastry cream preparation, and pastry production. The second stage is a 75-minute cooking competition that requires each team to prepare a four-course menu incorporating a classic dish and items produced during the prior skills phase. The classic French dish “Filets de Sole Veronique” was the requisite starter this year.

The CINY team’s winning menu was as follows:

  • Fish starter course – Filets de Sole Veronique, cooked in a white wine and cream sauce and garnished with grapes
  • Salad course – Petite spicy greens with New York State apples, compressed celery, Parmesan herb tuile, smoked Gouda and candied walnuts; served with an Angry Orchard rosé hard cider vinaigrette, warm onion and leek curd, and celery and green apple gel
  • Main course – Trio of chicken comprising chicken breast roulade, truffle- and foie gras-stuffed ballotine, and chicken shepherd’s pie; served with cranberry relish, wild mushroom sauce and wilted fall greens
  • Dessert course – Valrhona chocolate Grand Marnier tart with pistachio feulletine and pistachio crust; accompanied by citrus salad, vanilla bean and tangerine creamsicle

The team was assisted throughout the competition by team apprentices Ben Artuso (Scotch Plains, NJ), Gabriella Barreira (Roselle Park, NJ), Anthony Hopler (West Milford, NJ), John Nguyen (Glendale, AZ), and team assistant Jake Costantino (Warwick, NY).

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, CINY has produced award-winning culinary teams, students, faculty and staff, as well as a critically acclaimed student-run restaurant, The Dining Lab, which was described as a "training ground for students" by The Wall Street Journal and "the little kitchen that could" by The New York Times. Monroe’s culinary program has won more than 900 American Culinary Federation medals to date. More information, including admissions criteria, is available online