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Classmates’ Appetizer, Entree Judged in ‘Mystery Basket’ Challenge


Team Pork Buttz enters the “field” of competition with confidence.
Team Pork Buttz enters the “field” of competition with confidence.
Inspired by a list of required ingredients, students produce house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad atop a cauliflower and cheese crust.
Inspired by a list of required ingredients, students produce house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad atop a cauliflower and cheese crust.
Team Grateful Bread carefully scores its classmates’ culinary creations.
Team Grateful Bread carefully scores its classmates’ culinary creations.
The team’s entrée: spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings.
The team’s entrée: spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings.

Senior-level students in the culinary arts and systems major completed their first Mystery Basket challenge of the semester on Friday as part of their coursework in Culinary Competition and Skills Assessment, a capstone class taught by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts. Half the class – known as Team Pork Buttz – was tasked with using not only a list of required “market basket” ingredients, but also a pair of “mystery ingredients” revealed the morning of the competition, to create two courses to be judged by their classmates, known as Team Grateful Bread. Using the required ingredients (dill pickle, juniper berries, elbow macaroni and cauliflower) plus the “mystery” ingredients of fresh, whole rabbit and Guinness beer, Team Pork Buttz produced an appetizer course of house-made ricotta cheese quenelle with citrus salad on top of a cauliflower and cheese crust, plus an entree of spice-rubbed and smoke-fired rabbit with dumplings and Guinness/juniper berry with hint of chocolate reduction. The timed contests follow American Culinary Federation competition standards.
Photos by Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts

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