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Local students win Culinary Knowledge Bowl title

• May 3, 2018 at 4:00 PM

MUSKEGON — A team of five students from the Culinary Institute of Michigan in Muskegon, a division of Baker College, recently were named Central Region champions at the 2018 American Culinary Federation’s annual Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl.

The bowl took place March 18-20 in Newport Beach, California. It is a “Jeopardy”-style trivia competition with questions covering topics such as nutrition, baking, culinary math, safety and sanitation, and the arts of classical and modern cooking.

The Muskegon team bested more than 10 other teams from schools and American Culinary Federation chapters throughout the region on their way to the championship.

By securing the Central Region team championship, the Muskegon student chefs have earned the program’s first national appearance opportunity, and will compete against teams from three other regional winning programs in New Orleans in July.

The winning student chefs, all Michigan residents, are Rachelle Murphy of Grand Haven, Stanley Mersino of Spring Lake, Tanya Duzey of Clinton Township, Jennifer Thompson of Macomb and Wiesam Shamaoun of Jones. The students were coached to victory by adjunct chef instructor Amanda Miller.

“We are thrilled with our Muskegon team’s grueling run to (the) Knowledge Bowl regional victory,” said chef Tom Recinella, Baker College’s dean of culinary. “This is the first National Championship appearance for CIM Muskegon students, and we’re all very excited to watch them compete this summer as one of the top four culinary Knowledge Bowl teams in the U.S.”

Student chefs from the Culinary Institute of Michigan’s Port Huron campus also earned honors recently, sweeping the Culinary Arts and Commercial Baking categories and earning state championships for a third consecutive year in the Skills USA Post-Secondary State Cookoff, where the program also placed in the Restaurant Service category for a third straight year.

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