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“Young Chefs” win awards


Young Chef competitors show off their medals. From left: Chef Alan Neace, student medalists Malia Miller, Michael Puma, and Mark Mertes, and George Elliott of Chaine des Rotisseurs.

Cincinnati State hosted the 11th annual Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chef Competition on Nov. 4, 2018.

According to faculty member Chef Alan Neace, “It was a great day of cooking and camaraderie with our culinary students.”

A total of 20 young chefs created specialty meals (two courses, four portions per course) from a “mystery basket” that included beef tenderloin, Norwegian salmon, and multiple supplementary ingredients.

Each competitor was required to write a menu and then prepare their meals in only 90 minutes.

Gold medal winner Michael Puma will represent Cincinnati at the regional competition in Indianapolis in April. Mark Mertes earned second place, and Malia Miller was third.

Guest judges included Marilyn Harris, Paul Parks, Mary Horn, Jean-Robert DeCavel and Cincinnati State Culinary Program Chair Jeff Sheldon.

La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest and largest gastronomic organization in the world, with about 6,000 members in the US, in approximately 125 Bailliages (chapters). The Cincinnati chapter was established in 1981.

The organization strives for balanced membership representing professionals involved in food preparation, hotel/restaurant service, and related fields, as well as “knowledgeable laymen who enjoy the pleasures engendered by good cuisine, good wine, and good company.”