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Morrisville State College students win awards at hospitality conference

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—A team of Morrisville State College students took second place in the prestigious Bistro Challenge at the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) Conference 2013 held in Dallas, Texas April 11-14.

In the IFSEA Bistro Challenge, teams have 90 minutes to plan, prep, plate and present their dishes, incorporating a “mystery” ingredient, to a panel of culinary judges. The mystery ingredient for this year’s challenge was Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread, which had to be included in at least one of the dishes. Teams were given a pantry of more than 125 items to create their courses.

MSC’s team selected a Mexican, southwestern theme and presented a fish margarita ceviche appetizer, Chile Rellano on a bed of white rice for the entrée, and Hazelnut custard with a sweet crust for dessert.

Students were judged on creativity, teamwork, organization, front-of-the-house skills, menu planning, sanitation, taste and table scape.

The Morrisville State College IFSEA Bistro Challenge team was compromised of: Amanda Cherry, of Slate Hill, NY; Kenny Brown, of Great Neck, NY; Enrique Robinson, of St. Paul, Minn.; Devin Schott, of Massapequa, NY; all restaurant management majors; and Channel Encarnacion, of Bronx, NY, a business administration major.

The team was coached by Anthony Lupino, assistant professor, travel and tourism/ hospitality management, and Kerry Beadle, assistant professor and chair of the college’s Hospitality Technology Department.

“Our Morrisville State College team did an excellent job of coming together for this challenge in Dallas,” Lupino said. “The team was very successful at maintaining the level of sanitation that the judges were looking for and the table scape that they created incorporated the bright colors of the southwest, creating a very festive atmosphere which was also an important factor in the competition. The dishes the team prepared looked professional and were garnished beautifully adding to the attractiveness of each course.”

A total of 17 students represented MSC during this year’s IFSEA conference.

During the event, Worthy Goal Scholarships were awarded to the following Morrisville State College students:

Kristen Offringa, a resort and recreation service management: technology management, bachelor degree major from Napanoch, NY, $2,000
Vanessa Connally, a travel and tourism/hospitality management associate degree major from Far Rockaway, NY, $1,000
A $1,000 scholarship was also awarded to Kyle Fuller who will attend MSC this fall.

Offringa was also appointed to the International Board of Directors of IFSEA during the conference, which featured various educational classes, hands-on demonstrations and workshops, speeches about the hospitality industry and emerging trends, and also provided networking opportunities for students.

Students were also involved with planning and executing portions of the conference and presented a seminar on community service events. They also attended a fruit carving seminar/demonstration by chef Calbert McDonald, of Calbert Culinary Arts in Dallas, Texas.

Lupino, co-owner of the Bella Cucina Restaurant in New Hartford, NY, also gave a presentation titled, “So You Think You Want to Open a Restaurant?”

IFSEA is active on the MSC campus holding annual pie sales and hosting various events, including a “Texas BBQ” and bull riding for students, on May 1 from 4:30 -7 p.m. in the STUAC quad, featuring guest chef, Doug Tarpinian. Tarpinian, a 1997 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is the owner of the Holy Smoke BBQ and Catering in Earlville, NY. He has more than 22 years of professional and international experience preparing fine cuisines in restaurants in Florida, New York, Russia, Ghana and the Ukraine.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.