Last Sunday's snowstorm didn't stop the sold-out crowd from wearing cruise attire to the ACF Maumee Valley Chef Association's 27th Annual Scholarship & Award dinner at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg. The theme of the dinner was "Cruising the Culinary Waves."
Culinary highlights included authentic Mexican tamales, Marguerite grouper, and Mexican bread pudding from the South of the Border station; Norwegian Smoked Salmon Chowder, Irish herb-crusted leg of lamb with Sauce Guinness, and German chicken in tarragon from the Northern European station; seafood fritters, mango chicken, and rumba bananas from the Caribbean station, and Aussie kangaroo pie from the Australian station.
Scholarship winners included Byron Buck of Monroe Community College, who won the Sysco scholarship, and Rebecca Borthwick of Owens Community College, who won the Andy Malcolm Scholarship. Three Senior Culinary Arts students at Penta Career Center also won scholarships: Nathan Perry of Whitehouse won the Gordon Scholarship, and Misty Tipton of Rudolph and Thomas Wilburn of Oak Harbor won scholarships from Maumee Valley Chefs Association. Tom Parsil, who attends the Culinary Institute of America, received the Jacob Freimark Memorial Scholarship.
Chef Jim Taylor, who is the Northeast region vice president of the American Culinary Federation, spoke about the importance of junior culinarians to the future of the food industry. Mr. Taylor, who is the coordinator of the Chef Apprenticeship Program at Columbus State Community College, is one of three chefs running for the ACF president this year.
As a culinary society, the ACF Maumee Valley Chef Association gives other awards. The Professionalism Award went to Jerry Kraushaar, who was the chairman of the dinner with the Holiday Inn French Quarter. Aspiring Culinarian of the Year Award went to Erin Marten of Real Seafood. Friend of the ACF Maumee Valley Chef Association award went to the Holiday Inn French Quarter. The President's Award and Special Recognition when to Mark Kinsey, sous chef at Highland Meadows.
Nominations for the Chef of the Year award are made by the MCVA membership; selection is made by past Chefs of the Year. Receiving the black toque as Chef of the Year was Steven Joyce, sous chef Mercy Health Partners.
Seven of America's most creative cooks, including Findlay's Suzanne Conrad, will be featured in the documentary on the Pillsbury Bake-off in The Million Dollar Recipe, which will air on Bravo channel at 8 p.m. May 2.
As the 41st contest heated up in Hollywood, Calif., 100 mini-kitchens transformed a giant ballroom into a kitchen arena where 100 finalists cooked side-by-side competing for the $1 million prize. The Million Dollar Recipe follows seven contestants from their home kitchens to the dramatic Bake-Off contest.
Mrs. Conrad won the contest in last June with Oats 'n Honey Granola Pie.
Those interested in planting a culinary herb garden may want to visit the Maumee Valley Herb Society's table at the Spring Plant Sale May 5 through 8 at the Toledo Botanical Garden. Hours will be 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday (for members only, but memberships are taken that day) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The plant list includes a wide variety of basil (including Thai lemon basil), lavenders, lemon grass, mints, fennel, dill, cilantro, chives, countless varieties of rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, and many varieties of thyme. Toledo GROWS will also sell heirloom vegetable plants.
The 2205 Buckeye Regional and Ohio State Chili Cook-offs continues today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Camp Runinmuck, 8786 Northshore Blvd. in Marblehead. Sanctioned by the International Chili Society, this is the 10th anniversary of the Buckeye Regional. Cook-off winners qualify to compete at the World Championship Chili Cook-off in October. Information: www.chilicookoff.com.