Thursday, March 5, 2009

Midwest Young Chef's Competition

On Saturday, March 21st the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs will be hosting the Midwest Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs Culinary Competition at Schoolcraft College. Schoolcraft College has very respected and internationally acclaimed one-year certificate programs in Culinary Arts, Culinary Baking and Pastry Arts, and Culinary Management. There is also an on-campus student-operated restaurant called The American Harvest (students work under the direction of award-winning Certified Master Chef Dan Hugelier), and many of their Chef instructors and students have won national and international competitions.

Students of the Culinary School as well as other area amateur chefs will be competing in this year's Midwest Young Chef's Culinary Competition, hosted by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic organization with roots dating back to 1248. They welcome both the industry professional and the amateur foodie into their fold, and are opening this event to the public.

The competition will be held at the Culinary School which is inside the VisTa Tech Building at 18600 Haggerty Rd. in Livonia. Young chefs will be preparing their dishes from behind glass windows and those curious to see what goes on in such an intense kitchen competition are invited to watch. Afterwards, there will be an awards ceremony, induction, and banquet at the College beginning at 6:30PM. Again, this event is open to the public.

The competition will ensue as follows:

Each competitor is to receive an identical mystery basket, permitting them to compose a
three-course menu of their choice prepared for four (4) people, consisting of individual
plates for Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert. After examining the mystery basket,
competitors shall have 30 minutes to write out a three course menu, and only after the 30
minutes has elapsed, be allowed to commence preparation at their designated kitchen
station. They then have 3 hours to prepare the items and must begin the presentation to the
Jury within their designated 30 minute window (10 minutes for each course, consecutively,
and strictly timed).

Each of the three courses will be judged independently by the following criterion:

Taste - Maximum 15 points
• Balance of four basic tastes.
• Maximum 15 points, awarded by tasting judges.
• Flavors must work in harmony; no over-powering flavors.
• Appropriately seasoned food.
• Avoid competing flavors on the plate.
• Accurately cooked food items.
• Hot foods must be served hot, and cold foods must be served cold.

Presentation - Maximum 5 points
• Maximum 5 points, awarded by tasting judges.
• Judges will be looking for visually appealing presentations that show creativity and
innovation. Each entry must show a proficiency of skills using; contrasting or
complementary colors, shapes, flavors, sizes and with a variety of mediums while
maintaining consistent portion sizes.
• The portion must be appropriate to the dish and to the standard rules of nutrition.
• Strong visual impact and harmony of colors.
• Meat and vegetable juices should not make a dish look unappetizing.
• Points will be deducted for vegetables that are not cut/turned uniformly.
• Plate arrangements should be practical yet appealing and should comply with the current
industry trends.
• Must use more than 50% of each mandatory food item.
• Deductions will be made for:
o Inconsistent portioning
o Disproportional sauce and garnishing to main piece
o Unappealing presentations

Originality - Maximum 10 points
• New creation of dishes and preparation of food.
• Maximum 10 points, awarded by tasting judges.
• Primarily based on the originality of the artistic work and the degree of difficulty and

(There is also a separate judging criterion used by the kitchen judge for technique.)

See for yourself what Michigan's up-and-coming young chefs are capable of in the kitchen! The Young Chef's Competition Awards Banquet is $95.00 per person to attend, and must be paid for in advance. You may make checks payable to:

Robert S. Levine
Bailliage du Michigan
761 Falmouth Drive
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304

There will also be another Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dinner at Iridescence on Friday, March 20th (the evening before the competition) at 7:30PM for a cost of $140.00 per person. This will be an 8-course degustation menu with accompanying wines appropriate to the tastings. Reservations must be made in advance, make checks payable to above.

Viva la Chaîne!