New York, NY — On Tuesday, October 17, students in the Career Program at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School won top honors in School Jam 2000, Food & Wine magazine’s annual student chef competition. Three culinary teams performed in front of five celebrity judges, vying for $10,000 in scholarship money.
Peter Kump’s took the title “Best Overall Team” from its competitors, Vermont’s New England Culinary Institute and Philadelphia’s Restaurant School. This year marks Peter Kump’s second victory in the competition, following a 1998 win over the French Culinary Institute and the New England Culinary Institute. (At the time, the competition was known as Tool Jam.)
Equipped with a full complement of Calphalon cookware, the three teams set out to create exquisite three-course meals that would impress the prestigious panel of judges. This year’s five judges were Dana Cowin, Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine; Judy Licht, ABC News host; Jerry Della Femina, restaurateur and advertising agency legend; Bill Telepan, Executive Chef of JUdson Grill; and Daniel Johnnes, Wine Director of Montrachet and the Myriad Restaurant Group.
The competition was emceed by Sissy Biggers, the host of The Food Network’s “Ready… Set… Cook” cable TV series. Sissy offered words of encouragement to the chefs and entertained the judges with play-by-play observations and commentary.
Peter Kump’s winning student chefs were Susan O’Regan-Reidy, Alison Perrenod and Tad Weliczko. Their chef-instructors for the competition were Anne W. Burrell, Barbara Bria-Pugliese and Sabrina Jordan. Additional guidance was provided by Director of Education Richard Simpson and Director of Pastry & Baking Programs Nick Malgieri. Says Burrell, “It was a tremendous commitment for them. The team prepared for a month, practicing three or four times a week and even putting in some eight- and nine-hour stints at the end, doing the same dishes over and over. They learned what can happen if you focus on perfection and dedicate yourself to honing skills.” Student chef Perrenod appreciates the effort put in by all the coaches: “I walked in feeling like I’d already won something, because I’d gotten so much out of the preparation. The pressure was on, but Chef Anne had spent hours showing me how to do things like french a rack of boar, so I was very prepared and just had to go through the steps. It was a great experience.”
The winning three-course menu consisted of Oysters on the Half Shell with Prosecco Granita Over Warm Salad of Radicchio and Fennel; Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin Crusted with Smoked Tea and Seared Wild Boar Chops Over Chestnut Purée with Roasted Figs and Balsamic Pork Jus; and a Pecan Crusted Chocolate Ganache and Caramel Tart with Chocolate Ice Cream and Pecan Lace Cookies.
In recognition of the winning team, Calphalon Cookware is offering a $10,000 scholarship for a future student to attend Peter Kump’s. Information about this scholarship, as well as a photo essay on the competition, will be included in the January 2001 issue of Food & Wine.
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE®) is New York City's award-winning center for culinary education. Founded in 1975 by Peter Kump, the school offers highly regarded 8- to 12-month career training programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Culinary Management and Hospitality Management. With an intensive curriculum, dedicated Chef Instructors, a strong record in externship placements and a clear entrepreneurial focus, ICE is widely regarded as a great pathway to begin or continue a culinary career. ICE also runs the largest program of hands-on recreational cooking classes and wine education courses in the country, with more than 26,000 enthusiasts taking any of the 1,500 classes offered each year. In 2008, ICE was named the International Association of Culinary Professionals' (IACP) Culinary School of the Year and a School of Distinction by the ACCSCT in 2006. ICE's 42,000 square-foot facility is open seven days and nights a week, 350 days a year and is located at 50 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010. More information can be found at www.iceculinary.com.