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Baker College of Port Huron Culinary Students Win Five of Seven Medals at Eastern Market Competition

July 2, 2014

Two gold medals, ‘Best of Show’ included in CIM Port Huron win

PORT HURON, Mich. – Baker College of Port Huron Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) students brought home five of the seven medals awarded to student culinarians at Detroit’s Eastern Market mystery basket competition recently. The competition was part of a fundraising event for Rising Stars Academy, a cooking school in Centerline for special needs students, aged 18-26 years.

Standing, from left—Eric Edwards Sr., Marc Iles, Joe Ajja, Gavin Pierce, Ron Cary, John Strauchman, Shawn Kraft, Candace White, Corsandra Bowden, Chef Andy Fabian, Saengaroon Rhodes, Chef Nick Cornfield and Marisol Andrades. Kneeling: Heidi Lohn and Jill Tucker. Not pictured: Chefs Tom Recinella and Paula Recinella.

There were 16 two-person teams from area culinary schools in the competition. Four teams represented Baker College of Port Huron. Each team was given 10 minutes to review a basket of “mystery” ingredients, then an hour to create a taste-tempting creation. Awards were presented for Taste, Presentation and Best of Show. 

It was a clean sweep for CIM Port Huron students in the taste category. Gold medal winners Jon Strauchman, of Smiths Creek, and Joe Ajja, of Warren, also won Best of Show. The other CIM Port Huron teams that brought home awards for the taste category were:

  • Silver medal – Gavin Pierce, of Warren, and Ron Cary, of Flint
  • Bronze medal – Jill Tucker, of St. Clair, and Heidi Lohn, of Port Huron

Tucker and Lohn also won the gold medal for presentation.

The team of Saengaroon Rhodes, of St. Clair, and Shawn Kraft, of Harbor Beach, rounded out the Baker College competitors. Several other CIM Port Huron students were also involved in the training exercises in advance of the competition and provided support to the Baker College competitors at the event. 

“Our students performed like true professional culinarians,” said Thomas Recinella, CEC, ACE, AAC, CIM Port Huron director of the culinary arts and food and beverage management programs. “They carried themselves with poise and confidence and were gracious to their competitors. The judges were impressed by the complexity of the items that the Baker College students selected to create in 60 minutes—such as fresh pasta and sausage—and with the students’ flawless execution of their dishes.”

Several days in advance of the competition, the teams were informed that the protein would be pork loin. The entrants were free to make anything they wanted to include in their dish. The “mystery” ingredients were all fresh produce. The challenges for the student culinarians were “having the skills to prepare fresh produce and, more importantly, having the knowledge of what is possible to prepare in an hour,” Recinella said.

The Baker College students are accustomed to preparing fine dining food quickly due, in part, to their participation in the student-run, teaching restaurant, COURSES, at the CIM Port Huron. 

Cooking in front of 400 spectators didn’t seem to faze the Baker College students. They are used to cooking under pressure while being evaluated by multiple instructors during their practical exams. Still, Recinella was impressed with how well the students handled the public stage during the competition.

“It was an excellent display of the solid training and preparation that students receive at Port Huron’s Culinary Institute of Michigan,” he said. “They truly represented the CIM brand and Baker College very well.”

The CIM Port Huron COURSES restaurant is open to the public for lunch while classes are in session. During summer quarter, it’s open July 9 – August 22, Wednesdays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., though the last reservation for seating is at 1:15 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 810.357.0875. 

For more information about the Baker College of Port Huron culinary arts program, contact Daniel Kenny in the admissions office at Daniel.Kenny@baker.edu, or 810.985.7000 or 888.262.2442.

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    To access your transcripts, log into the SOLAR System, select the Star System and select the Academic Office. Once there, click on the transcripts link.

  • Is Baker accredited?

    Yes. Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission / 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 / 800-621-7440 / www.ncahlc.org.

    Baker College is an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) participant.

    Additional Accreditations

    Baker has also earned specialized accreditations for programs and degrees in: 

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    • Early Childhood Learning
    • Engineering and Technology
    • Health Sciences
    • School of Nursing

    For details about these specialized accreditations, see the individual Programs and Degrees pages. 

  • Does Baker provide any help in my job search?


    As a graduate of Baker College, you are eligible for our Lifetime Employment Services, which include:

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    • Resume and cover letter assistance
    • Job interview questions
    • Job postings
    • Relocation tips

     

  • Is Baker College Online accredited?

    Baker Online is part of Baker College, a private, non-profit, accredited, degree granting, higher educational institution with locations throughout Michigan.

    As an accredited college, Baker College has been granted legal authority by the state of Michigan to operate as a nonprofit educational corporation and is empowered to grant certificates, associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. It is approved for veterans’ benefits. Baker College is recognized as an institution of higher education by the U.S. Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education.

    All Baker Online undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission / 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 / 800-621-7440 / www.ncahlc.org

    Baker College is an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) participant.

    Some Baker Online graduate programs have additional accreditation:

  • How do online classes work?


    After you enroll, and are accepted to your online program, you sign-up, or "register" for your first courses. Like all Baker Online students, you will begin your online experience with a three-week online class designed to orient you to the Baker Online classroom, and review the expectations and requirements of Baker Online students. When you have completed this course successfully, you can move on to additional online courses.

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Baker College of Port Huron Culinary Students Win Five of Seven Medals at Eastern Market Competition

July 2, 2014

Two gold medals, ‘Best of Show’ included in CIM Port Huron win

CIM Students

PORT HURON, Mich. – Baker College of Port Huron Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) students brought home five of the seven medals awarded to student culinarians at Detroit’s Eastern Market mystery basket competition recently. The competition was part of a fundraising event for Rising Stars Academy, a cooking school in Centerline for special needs students, aged 18-26 years.

Standing, from left—Eric Edwards Sr., Marc Iles, Joe Ajja, Gavin Pierce, Ron Cary, John Strauchman, Shawn Kraft, Candace White, Corsandra Bowden, Chef Andy Fabian, Saengaroon Rhodes, Chef Nick Cornfield and Marisol Andrades. Kneeling: Heidi Lohn and Jill Tucker. Not pictured: Chefs Tom Recinella and Paula Recinella.

There were 16 two-person teams from area culinary schools in the competition. Four teams represented Baker College of Port Huron. Each team was given 10 minutes to review a basket of “mystery” ingredients, then an hour to create a taste-tempting creation. Awards were presented for Taste, Presentation and Best of Show. 

It was a clean sweep for CIM Port Huron students in the taste category. Gold medal winners Jon Strauchman, of Smiths Creek, and Joe Ajja, of Warren, also won Best of Show. The other CIM Port Huron teams that brought home awards for the taste category were:

  • Silver medal – Gavin Pierce, of Warren, and Ron Cary, of Flint
  • Bronze medal – Jill Tucker, of St. Clair, and Heidi Lohn, of Port Huron

Tucker and Lohn also won the gold medal for presentation.

The team of Saengaroon Rhodes, of St. Clair, and Shawn Kraft, of Harbor Beach, rounded out the Baker College competitors. Several other CIM Port Huron students were also involved in the training exercises in advance of the competition and provided support to the Baker College competitors at the event. 

“Our students performed like true professional culinarians,” said Thomas Recinella, CEC, ACE, AAC, CIM Port Huron director of the culinary arts and food and beverage management programs. “They carried themselves with poise and confidence and were gracious to their competitors. The judges were impressed by the complexity of the items that the Baker College students selected to create in 60 minutes—such as fresh pasta and sausage—and with the students’ flawless execution of their dishes.”

Several days in advance of the competition, the teams were informed that the protein would be pork loin. The entrants were free to make anything they wanted to include in their dish. The “mystery” ingredients were all fresh produce. The challenges for the student culinarians were “having the skills to prepare fresh produce and, more importantly, having the knowledge of what is possible to prepare in an hour,” Recinella said.

The Baker College students are accustomed to preparing fine dining food quickly due, in part, to their participation in the student-run, teaching restaurant, COURSES, at the CIM Port Huron. 

Cooking in front of 400 spectators didn’t seem to faze the Baker College students. They are used to cooking under pressure while being evaluated by multiple instructors during their practical exams. Still, Recinella was impressed with how well the students handled the public stage during the competition.

“It was an excellent display of the solid training and preparation that students receive at Port Huron’s Culinary Institute of Michigan,” he said. “They truly represented the CIM brand and Baker College very well.”

The CIM Port Huron COURSES restaurant is open to the public for lunch while classes are in session. During summer quarter, it’s open July 9 – August 22, Wednesdays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., though the last reservation for seating is at 1:15 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 810.357.0875. 

For more information about the Baker College of Port Huron culinary arts program, contact Daniel Kenny in the admissions office at Daniel.Kenny@baker.edu, or 810.985.7000 or 888.262.2442.

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FAQ's

  • How can I send a copy of my official transcripts to another organization?

    To access your transcripts, log into the SOLAR System, select the Star System and select the Academic Office. Once there, click on the transcripts link.

  • Is Baker accredited?

    Yes. Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission / 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 / 800-621-7440 / www.ncahlc.org.

    Baker College is an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) participant.

    Additional Accreditations

    Baker has also earned specialized accreditations for programs and degrees in: 

    • Business Administration
    • Early Childhood Learning
    • Engineering and Technology
    • Health Sciences
    • School of Nursing

    For details about these specialized accreditations, see the individual Programs and Degrees pages. 

  • Does Baker provide any help in my job search?


    As a graduate of Baker College, you are eligible for our Lifetime Employment Services, which include:

    • Job searching techniques
    • Resume and cover letter assistance
    • Job interview questions
    • Job postings
    • Relocation tips

     

  • Is Baker College Online accredited?

    Baker Online is part of Baker College, a private, non-profit, accredited, degree granting, higher educational institution with locations throughout Michigan.

    As an accredited college, Baker College has been granted legal authority by the state of Michigan to operate as a nonprofit educational corporation and is empowered to grant certificates, associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. It is approved for veterans’ benefits. Baker College is recognized as an institution of higher education by the U.S. Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education.

    All Baker Online undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission / 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 / 800-621-7440 / www.ncahlc.org

    Baker College is an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) participant.

    Some Baker Online graduate programs have additional accreditation:

  • How do online classes work?


    After you enroll, and are accepted to your online program, you sign-up, or "register" for your first courses. Like all Baker Online students, you will begin your online experience with a three-week online class designed to orient you to the Baker Online classroom, and review the expectations and requirements of Baker Online students. When you have completed this course successfully, you can move on to additional online courses.

  • Load More FAQ'S
David Gomez - A Baker Online Testimonial
Watch this testimonial Watch Testimonial

For every degree I've received from Baker, I've also received a promotion—giving me the chance to reach my full potential.

David Gomez
US Airways