MCC Students Place First in State-Wide Student Chef Competition

Manchester, CT – (November 16, 2006) . . . Weeks of preparation paid off for five talented MCC Culinary Arts students. The team of student chefs defeated the Connecticut Culinary Institute in Hartford and the Center for Culinary Arts in Cromwell and was awarded the first place title in the Connecticut Student Chef Competition, sponsored by Everybody Wins CT. This award is the first for the Culinary Arts program at MCC.

MCC Evening of Fine Wines
MCC Evening of Fine Wines
MCC Evening of Fine Wines
The winning cake entries at the
CT Restaurant Show.

The heated competition was modeled after the Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” and the MCC team featured Brendan Chapman of Manchester, Fred Huhn of Hebron, Albert Lavoie of South Windsor, Theresa Olchanowski of New Britain and Justin Reich of Newington.

“It was a team effort; every member of the team had something to do with the win,” stated Linda Coons, Associate Professor of Hospitality Management. “I’m very proud of the students and we hope to continue with team competition.”

The students had to prepare a multiple course meal from scratch, using lamb and shrimp as the main ingredients. The dishes were judged on taste, creativity and presentation.

“The entire learning experience at MCC was enhanced by our preparation and team work at the competition; it was a tremendous experience,” stated Albert Lavoie, MCC student and team member.

The winning streak for the Culinary Arts program started in October when several students received awards for their cake entries at the Connecticut Restaurant Show. The students were instructed by Pastry Chef Carol Murdock, owner of Classic Cakes in West Hartford and adjunct professor at MCC.

The following students were awarded for their outstanding cake entries in the competition:

Advanced Cake Decorating:
First place: Theresa Olchanowski of New Britain
Second place: Mihn Chuc Nguyen of Manchester
Third place: Soupinporn Vongsarasinh of Manchester

Basic Cake Decorating:
First place: Amy Olchanowski of New Britain
Second place: Lynne Henderson of Vernon
Third place: Art Springer of Hartford

The Culinary Arts certificate program at MCC is designed for both full and part-time students pursuing a career in commercial food preparation, restaurant ownership or catering. Graduates from this program may apply to the American Culinary Federation (ACF) to become a “Certified Cook,” a nationally recognized certification. Academic credits from this program may be transferred to MCC’s associate degree programs in Foodservice Management or Hotel-Tourism Management.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.