On November 25, Midwest Culinary Institute student Tim McLane and Chef Danny Bungenstock represented Cincinnati State in a culinary competition held in Rioja, Spain.
The Basque Culinary Center in northern Spain held a competition to pair a local wine from the DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) region of Rioja with an original and seasonal tapas. Rioja is one of only two winemaking regions in Spain to have received a prestigious DOCa classification.
Hopeful students from all over the world, applied to compete from places such as Mexico, Brazil, USA, Germany, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, and Taiwan. Tim was one of five culinary students chosen to compete over the Thanksgiving holiday.
His menu consisted of seared duck breast with cracklin', pickled fennel, pickled mustard seeds, salt cured egg yolk, micro mustard greens and sauce Duxelles. He paired his tapas with a 2011 Tempranillo of the Señorío de San Vicente winery from the region of Rioja, Spain.
Tim placed second, behind only a competitor from the Basque Culinary Center itself. Chef Bungenstock said, “His dish was executed perfectly – elegant plating, complex flavors – and he easily had the most disciplined workstation and technique at the competition. Tim’s performance reflects very well on the caliber of instruction at Cincinnati State.”
Two days prior to the competition, Chef Bungenstock and Tim were able to tour the countryside of Rioja and tasted wine at three of the regions most prized wineries. They learned firsthand why Rioja wine is the leading DOCa of Spanish wines, and the United States is its third largest global importer.