SCC Culinary Program Wins Awards
Culinary students from Sandhills Community College, along with instructor Curtis Shelvey, recently competed in the American Culinary Federation's Southeast Regional Hot Food Competition in Myrtle Beach.
Representing Sandhills, along with Shelvey, were culinary students Marc Hansen and Richard Smith, each of whom captured a bronze medal for their creations; and Angela Knipping, the only female competitor, who was awarded a silver medal.
Shelvey won a silver medal for his preparation of roasted pork tenderloin with brandy/shallot demi-glace, wild mushroom risotto and sauteed vegetable medley.
Reminiscent of the Iron Chef television show, participants were given a "mystery protein," which could have been beef, chicken, pork or seafood. From the ingredient provided, the contestants had to devise and prepare a menu within a two-hour time frame.
Students from the Horry County Community College culinary program served as apprentices during the competition, and the five contest judges were all certified master chefs.
Competitors numbered 93, all of whom were professional chefs, except for the three Sandhills students who accompanied Shelvey.
"These awards are the top accolades given to professional chefs in the industry," said Shelvey. "The contest is a test of their cooking, sanitation and supervisory skills, as well as their culinary imagination."
The American Culinary Federation is the largest governing body of professional chefs in the world.
Shelvey brings 27 years' experience as a professional chef to Sandhills' culinary arts program. He is completing his eighth year as a culinary instructor at Sandhills.
Prior to his current post, his professional experience included positions at the Pinehurst Country Club and the Ironwood Caf.
In addition to an impressive faculty and a prestigious program, an education in culinary arts from Sandhills is a tremendous value.
While a two-year culinary degree from Johnson & Wales or the Culinary Institute of America can exceed $50,000, students can get a degree from Sandhills for a small fraction of that amount.
Shelvey is confident that his graduating students are just as prepared for success in the industry as those from the highly regarded private institutions.
Quick to acknowledge that while the department and its faculty bring strong credentials to culinary arts instruction, Shelvey says the success of its students and graduates are a testimony to the program's merits. He is especially complimentary of the students who participated in the competition with him.
"These students represent all that we teach at Sandhills," Shelvey said. "They did an outstanding job for Sandhills, and I am very proud of them.
"I know, without a doubt, that anyone who hires our graduates will be extremely happy with their decision. We make sure our students are prepared for success."
Noteworthy graduates have emerged from the program at Sandhills. Among them is Mike Tuscano, who works as lead cook at the Ironchef Mario Batali flagship restaurant Babbo Ristorante in New York City, which is considered one of the top ten restaurants in the nation.
Photos of the competition, including the competing chefs and their dishes, may be seen by visiting www.myrtlebeachrestaurantnews.com.
Sandhills Community College offers a certificate and an associate in applied science in baking and pastry arts and in culinary technology.
An associate can also be earned in hotel and restaurant management, and resort and spa management.
Those interested in more information about the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program at Sandhills can contact Professor Ted Oelfke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 695-3756.
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