Cook-Off Features Students, Staff, Alumni
Cook-Off features Students, Staff, Alumni
SUNY Oneonta students, staff and alumni were key ingredients in The Daily Star’s 52nd annual Cook-off and Recipe Contest held Saturday, Feb. 25, at My Kitchen in Mills Hall.
SUNY Oneonta has partnered with The Daily Star on the event for several years running, but this was the first time it was held at the My Kitchen facility, which features four individual kitchens where students can prepare their own meals using ingredients that change daily.
Community members watched as six contestants cooked up their signature dishes for a panel of judges: SUNY Oneonta Executive Chef Bill O’Donnelland his wife, Best Wines & Spirits owner Sharon Wilsey, SUNY Oneonta Catering Chef Bryan Bennett and SUNY Oneonta Alumnus Master Chef Joseph Poon.
Half of the six contestants were affiliated with the college. Efrain Lopez of Oneonta, a 1979 SUNY Oneonta graduate of who has worked in food service for 23 years, finished third with his Roast Duck Salad with Pineapples and Pecans. SUNY Oneonta dietetics student Beth Machnica prepared Savory Mushroom Roll-Ups and finished fourth. And Veronica Diver, Africana and Latino Studies department secretary and and Communications Studies adjunct lecturer, took sixth place for her Kick Yo Azz Shrimp Bisque.
In between the contestants, SUNY Oneonta students and staff presented cooking demonstrations.Keith Pergola, a senior majoring in food service and restaurant administration, presented a 15-minute demonstration of steamed mussels. SUNY Oneonta chefs O’Donnell and Bennett entertained the audience with a mystery-basket challenge based on the Food Network series “Chopped.” Each was given a basket of ingredients and 20 minutes to whip up a flavorful dish, and Poon judged their creations. An internationally known chef, author, restaurateur, teacher, philanthropist and community activist based in Philadelphia, Poon, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the college in 2006.
To view the full article, please visit the news and events section of Oneonta.edu.