SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. | Japanese-style shrimp wowed the judges, but Spanish meatballs proved to be the crowd favorite Thursday (March 30) at SkillsUSA Council’s annual Culinary Challenge.
The event, in its eighth year and hosted by Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, paired five chefs with students from Culinary Arts programs at the region’s career and technical schools. The challenge called on each chef-student team to prepare one course of an international tasting menu.
Led by Chef Gregory Caracappa, of Sodexho Corporate Services, Upper Bucks County Technical School students Kiersten Phillips and Roberto Rodriguez prepared the winning course: pork-chorizo meatballs with mole sauce, avocado salsa verde, plantain chips and candied, house-cured bacon. The Spanish dish with Mexican flair drew more diners’ votes than any other course served that night. Students Kiera Day and Jayden Noel acted as UBCTS’s servers.
Chef Shawn Doyle, of Savory Grille, led LCTI students Margarita Castro and Alexis Moser, who prepared shrimp three ways: soy poached shrimp with a chilled udon noodle salad, a shrimp and cucumber sushi roll and tempura fried shrimp. The Japanese dish fell short in the vote tally, but won the “judges’ choice” award. Students Elisha Ramos and Steven Thewlis acted as LCTI’s servers.
The following chefs and schools also participated in this year’s Culinary Challenge:
Learn more about how LCTI’s Culinary Arts program prepares students for success.