Six teams of culinary students to compete in Nations’ Cup at GRCC

Oct. 18, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two Secchia Institute for Culinary Education students will compete against their peers from five other countries when Grand Rapids Community College hosts the Nations' Cup this week. 

The biennial competition, which GRCC has hosted since its inception in 2005, will take place from Oct. 19 to 21 in the kitchens of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. Teams of students representing the United States, Barbados, Canada, Italy, Mexico and Scotland will have a limited amount of time to turn mystery ingredients into five-star gourmet fair. Team Scotland has taken home the cup in 2015 and 2013. 

GRCC culinary students Ally West and Kaylee Mulder won positions on Team USA and will be supported by veteran Nations' Cup coach Sasha Ahmed. 

"Culinary education needs to provide opportunities to fuel the fire, passion and artistry of our students by allowing them to test their skills in competition​ -- and that is the idea behind the Nations' Cup," said Werner Absenger, program director for the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. "Competitions push our students and instructors to the utmost​ to help students better understand the medium they work with, and allow them to hone their stress and time management skills."

The public may view the competition live online.

The competition schedule:

Oct. 19

  • 8-9:30 a.m. -- Appetizer Mystery Box.
  • 10:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. -- Pasta Mystery Box.
  • 2-3:30 p.m. -- Fish/Shellfish Mystery Box.

Oct. 20

  • 8-9:30 a.m. -- Game Mystery Box.
  • 10:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. -- Poultry Mystery Box
  • 2-3:30 p.m. -- Dessert Mystery Box.

Oct. 21

  • 5:30-9 p.m. -- National Dish Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

The competition will be judged by an international team of culinary experts: Josef Huber from Austria, executive chef at Amway Hospitality Corp.; Ian MacDonald from Scotland, executive chef for the St Andrews Links; Josue Villalvazo from Mexico, a chef at Instituto Culinario de Mexico in Mexico; and chef Angus Campbell from the United States, a retired GRCC professor.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.


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