A team of five students from The Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in Port Huron, a division of Baker College, recently were named state champions and earned gold medal honors at the annual ACF Michigan State Student Team Cook Off. The competition, which included teams from the CIM, Schoolcraft College and Oakland Community College, was held Jan. 6, 2018 at Baker's CIM Muskegon Campus. This was CIM Port Huron's third time competing in the ACF Student Team State Championship in four years, and its third win.
The ACF Student Team Cook Off tests culinary students' speed, skills and teamwork abilities. The competition includes an 80-minute relay skills salon and a 90-minute menu phase, where teams must prepare and plate four portions of four courses.
The winning student chefs include: Nia Tomlinson, Team Captain of Saginaw, Rose Erickson of Fenton, Jami-Lynn Rice of Bad Axe, Josh Hoffman of Bad Axe and Ken Pankau of Bad Axe. The students were coached to victory by CIM Program Director/Restaurant Manager, Paula Recinella, CHE, Scott Twichell, CEPC, Lead Baking and Pastry Instructor, and Nicholas Cornfield, CEC Executive Chef of COURSES Restaurant. Together coaches and students will next travel to Madison College in Madison, Wis. on Feb. 16, 2018, to represent Michigan and compete in the ACF Central Region Student Team Championship against winning College and Apprentice teams from 8 other states/schools.
"The ACF Student Team Cook Off was a great day of cooking and camaraderie, where everyone learned from and interacted with each other for the betterment of the industry," said Chef Tom Recinella, CEC, AAC, HGT, Baker College's, Dean of Culinary. "The competition helps students to learn new skills, and improve upon others, while connecting with their peers and challenging themselves…and earning a win is certainly an honor and exemplifies, the pursuit of excellence that our students and faculty strive for everyday"
In addition to the top honors earned by the team from CIM Port Huron, Baker College also is celebrating a silver medal win by its team from the CIM Muskegon Campus.