• Dallas Pastry and Culinary Arts Students Earn Multiple Awards at 2011 Southwest Foodservice Expo

    Hearty congratulations to the group of recent student award winners from our Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts programs at Dallas! They took home several silver and bronze medals for their winning entries in a pastry arts and hot foods student competition, part of the 2011 Southwest Foodservice Expo.

    This annual event is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This year's Expo took place at the Dallas Convention Center, from June 26 to 28, 2011. All of the individuals judging the student competition were ACF-certified judges, one of which was Certified Master Chef Ernst Gruch.

    Here's a breakdown of our Dallas College award winners and their entries:

    • Tammy Twyford-Citrone (Pastry Arts): Silver Medal and Second Place Overall (Victorian Hat Box Cake)
    • Julie Beckett (Pastry Arts): Silver Medal and Third Place Overall (Treasure Chest Cake)
    • Miriam Deutsch (Culinary Arts): Silver Medal (Hedge Hog Cake)
    • Shelby Miller (Culinary Arts): Silver Medal (Three-Tiered Wedding Cake)
    • Donna Carey (Pastry Arts): Silver Medal (Chocolates Platter)
    • Karen Foster (Pastry Arts): Silver Medal (Dollhouse Bed Cake)
    • Peggy Vance (Pastry Arts): Silver Medal (Proud Peacock Cake)
    • Sherri Gurfinkle (Pastry Arts): Bronze Medal (Spanish Dancer Cake)
    • Mario Montezuma (Culinary Arts): Bronze Medal (Hot Food Competition)

    Dallas Pastry Arts Competition Criteria
    Dallas Chef Instructor Todd Pagan explained the judging criteria. "The guidelines were very strict. The cakes had to follow specific sizing specifications, and the creators had to show as many different techniques as possible, such as flat icing, piping, and so on. Each entry was graded against the set of guidelines, and depending on the final score assessed from those guidelines, competitors could win either a gold, silver, or bronze medal or a certificate of participation," he said, adding, "These medals are particularly noteworthy, because earning a medal from an ACF competition is not an easy feat to achieve."

    Culinary and Pastry Arts School Extracurricular Efforts Pay Off
    Chef Pagan, along with Chef Instructors Sandra Cohen, Kate Schroeder, and Jeff Johnston, advised the students on their competition entries, which the students created on Campus during their extra time between classes. "Our students spent an average of about 50 hours of solid work on their projects. They learned a lot about their craft and how to better themselves and their art, and they are all very deserving of this recognition," said Chef Pagan.

    Annual Event Draws Several Thousand Participants
    The Southwest Foodservice Expo is produced every year by the Texas Restaurant Association. The event generally draws about 15,000 to 20,000 chefs, restaurant owners, and hospitality managers. This year's contest drew competitors from as far away as San Antonio, with attendees traveling from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and all parts of Texas to check out the show.