Today’s Poll

Selkirk Cooking students tantalize taste buds in 2012 Top Chef showdown

By Contributor
April 10th, 2012

A packed house of tasters were treated to an evening of foods fit for Kings and Queens at the Selkirk’s 2012 Top Chef competition.

The public was invited last month to Mary Hall to sample a variety of taste delights from around the world, and then asked them to vote on whose food was the best.

“Top Chef is an annual collaboration between the Resort and Hotel Management Program and the First Year Cook Training Program that allows us to have our students get a real-life experience,” explains Harry Pringle, instructor in Selkirk College’s Resort and Hotel Management Program.

“The culinary students develop and try to perfect their four dishes and then have to present them to the public and get feedback on their product.

“The Resort and Hotel Management students get the opportunity to coordinate, promote and then run a major event. They set the budget, undertake marketing activities and then define the tasks required to
ensure a successful event.”

Some of the foods included Mediterranean, Korean, Middle Eastern and French cuisine and featured dishes such as: roasted vegetable stack with pesto goat cheese and balsamic vinegar on a bamboo spear; braised short rib kalbi lettuce cups with gojuchang sauce, yam and peanut purée soup with ginger and pineapple, and Belgian chocolate truffle with brie. Each group also offered up a drink to accompany their food, served in fine style by Resort and Hotel Management students.

After sampling everything, those in attendance were asked to vote
anonymously for their favourites in the categories of Best Team, Best
Bite, Best Dessert and Best Presentation.

Team Mediterranean (Mike Atsalakis, Jackson Franchetto, Anja Blake and
Deon Asencio) was clearly the crowd favourite, bringing home shiny
trophies in three of the four categories, including: Best Overall, Best
Presentation, and Best Bite for their tart of lemon grilled sea bass,
prawn and scallops in garlic aioli with fennel salad. Team Oasis (Dana
Dickinson Sampson, Bemba Avirmed, Sean Hamilton and Alan Wilson) won
Best Dessert for their warm sticky date pudding with coconut ice cream,
garnished with bittersweet caramel.

When it was all said and done, Pringle felt the event was a success.

“The excitement and hard work the students put into Top Chef was
reflected in the fine products they produced,” he said. “I feel this
year’s event was a great success and a successful one for the students.”

Culinary students who participated in Top Chef also felt good about
their experience.

“Top Chef was a great hands-on experience,” said Deon Asencio. “To do
something like that was totally amazing. It was an awesome experience
and I also learned a lot from it.”

“It was really cool,” added Dana Dickinson-Sampson. “You see how all of
your efforts are translated into the real world. A lot of people I don’t
know chatted with me about what I’d done and how they appreciated that
and came up to me after and made comments. That was really nice.”

To learn more about Selkirk College’s Cook Training and Resort and Hotel
Management programs, visit

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