Skidmore College earns gold at American Culinary Federation competition

skidmore culinary team

The culinary team from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., earned its fifth consecutive gold medal for culinary excellence at the American Culinary Federation competition held last week on the Skidmore campus.

The winning team, including chefs Joe Greco, Bryan Bidwell, Donovan Preston and Paul Karlson, competed against 11 other colleges and universities from throughout the Northeast, earning the highest total points, followed by Cornell University, which also took gold. 

The competition, modeled after the television program "Chopped," tasked teams of four people to create unique and delicious recipes using identical sets of ingredients, as well as a shared table of other staples and spices. Each team was required to produce a salad or appetizer, a soup or dessert, an entree and a buffet platter, under a strict set of time limits and without the use of broilers or fryers. The dishes were judged on originality, taste and presentation, and points were given or deducted for timing, teamwork, utilization of food, skills, sanitation and overall preparation.

The University at Albany, Ithaca College, University of Rochester, University at Buffalo, SUNY-Geneseo and SUNY-Cobleskill each earned silver medals. SUNY-Cortland, Williams College and the University of Connecticut took bronze.

The winning menu consisted of:

  • Appetizer: poached flounder with herb mousseline, featuring a crispy buttermilk fried avocado, pineapple napa slaw with toasted hazelnut crunch in a citrus butter sauce
  • Entree: blood orange glazed duck breast with potato and braised duck thigh meat croquette, sauteed broccoli rabe with wild mushrooms, pan-roasted purple cauliflower and blood orange reduction sauce
  • Dessert: citrus pound cake with chocolate semi-sphere hazelnut tuile and caramelized pineapple

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