LCTI wins judges’ choice award at SkillsUSA Culinary Challenge

SkillsUSA Council Culinary Challenge 2017

Chef Shawn Doyle, of Savory Grille, led LCTI students Margarita Castro and Alexis Moser as they prepared shrimp three ways for the 2017 SkillsUSA Council Culinary Challenge.

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:

  • Chef Mike Pichetto, of 3rd & Ferry Fish Market, and Career Institute of Technology
  • Chef Daniel Goulet, of Lords Valley Country Club, and Monroe County Technical Institute
  • Chef Randy Zerfass, of Lehigh Country Club, and Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School

Congratulations to Chef Doyle, Margarita and Alexis and kudos to all of the Culinary Challenge competitors.

Learn more about how LCTI’s Culinary Arts program prepares students for success.

Read the complete news release.

Media Contact: Precious Petty, Public Relations Coordinator, 610-799-1450,

Education Park Drive

Schnecksville, PA

Our mission at LCTI is to prepare all students for successful careers and lifelong learning.