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Mount Union Team Wins Platinum Chef Ohio

April 25, 2012

ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union’s Kresge Dining Commons were abuzz Thursday evening as AVI Fresh presented the Ohio Platinum Chef Competition and the Mount Union team took home first prize.

During the competition, teams from AVI schools in the Midwest Ohio region, assisted by an AVI Fresh chef from their respective school, competed for a chance to win $2,500. Competing schools included Hiram College, Kenyon College, Malone University, Tiffin University and Mount Union. Mount Union team members were Hannah Pollach, a freshman of Habfurt, Germany; Carly Stock, a freshman of Brooklyn Heights, OH; Anna Jones, a senior health management major of Falconer, NY; Aubree Jones, a senior exercise science major of Falconer, NY; and Kelsey Shonk, a senior athletic training major of Columbus, OH.

"Our team (Mount Union) was thrilled to host this years’ competition,” said Danielle Bair, Mount Union’s AVI resident director. “It was especially exciting to us because our student competitors are seniors who have participated in our campus-wide chef battle for the past four years. It was a fun night that ended in a Mount Union victory."

Prior to the competition, teams watched a celebrity chef demo featuring Hiroko Shimbo, worldwide-recognized sushi chef, author, media performer and chef instructor. Shimbo also revealed the mystery ingredient for the competition —shrimp.

The winning team’s menu consisted of lobster roll with fingerling potato chips and a bloody mary for the appetizer, tri-shrimp cioppino for the main course and a gelato flavored with shrimp and popcorn and served with a sesame seed cookie crumble for dessert. The team received a $2,000 prize, with runner-up Kenyon College receiving a $500 prize.

“We were so excited that we won,” said team captain Anna Jones. “I think we all did pretty well doing our own things and Zac Vega (AVI chef) helped us a lot.”

Judges for the event were Mike Ballas, AVI Fresh executive chef at Hiram College; Adam Crawn, AVI Fresh executive chef, Sandra Giese, Mount Union president’s spouse; Laura Green, director of student activities and co-curricular at Tiffin University and Hiroko Shimbo, guest celebrity chef.

The event also included a pie eating contest, won by Mount Union sophomore marketing major Josh Clemence of Akron, OH and a hot dog eating contest won by Mount Union freshman information systems major George Jackson of Shadyside, OH. Jackson finished seven hot dogs to win the competition. All Mount Union students were treated to a picnic-style dinner by AVI during the event, and entertainment was provided by local band Hoss Jarmin Band.

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