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Platinum Chef Competition Held at Mount Union

March 27, 2012

The fourth annual Platinum Chef competition at the University of Mount Union was held in the Hoover Price Campus Center on Thursday, March 22.

During the event, which is hosted each spring by Mount Union food service provider AVI Fresh, five groups of five students are paired with an AVI chef and have 90 minutes to cook three courses. Students are required to use a “mystery ingredient” in all three dishes — if the ingredient isn’t used, the dish is disqualified. This year’s mystery ingredient was eggs. Students learned of the mystery ingredient 24 hours before the event and had that time to come up with a tentative menu. When they arrived in the Dining Commons on Thursday, participating students were provided with a limited pantry stocked with basic food items.

“Students don’t know what’s in the pantry until they show up,” said Danielle Bair, AVI Director of Food Services. “They’re not allowed to bring any ingredients or cooking equipment.”

During the competition, students were judged based on teamwork, sanitation, appearance, taste and creativity. Judges for the event were Pam Newbold, director of human resources and staff development at Mount Union; Eric Young, residence life graduate assistant at Mount Union; Scott Lawrence, Mount Union Student Senate president; Chris Wisbey, director of operations for AVI and Violet Landwert, AVI cashier. After dishes were cooked, students had 15 minutes to present them to judges.

This year’s dishes included warm spinach salad, bacon quiche, mock bloody mary shooters, red velvet cupcakes, pasta carbonara, berry crepes and angel food cake.

The winning team, which received $125, consisted of sophomore exercise science major Aubrey Jones of Falconer, New York; senior health management major Anna Jones of Falconer, New York; freshman Hannah Pollach of Germany and freshman Carly Stock of Brooklyn Heights. Runners up were junior finance major Joey Forchione of Canton; senior history major Justin Beard of Copley, freshman Greg Koman of Perry, junior criminal justice major Mary Wills of Perry and Ryan Smith (can’t find in powercampus?)

“The purpose of the event is to showcase our chefs and do something fun and outside the box for students,” Bair said. “It creates excitement around AVI and the things that we do.”

This year’s Ohio Platinum Chef competition, sponsored by AVI, will be hosted at Mount Union on Thursday, April 19. Teams from five AVI schools in the Midwest Ohio region will compete for a chance to win $2,500. 

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