New Zealand culinary team wins; JCCC had best dessert

June 29, 2015

Everyone won something in the fifth annual International College Culinary Challenge held recently at Johnson County Community College.

The New Zealand team won overall, garnering the highest number of points. Hong Kong won for best teamwork. Australia won for best appetizer. United Kingdom won for best main course and JCCC won for best dessert. 

Felix Sturmer, professor at JCCC's Hospitality and Culinary Academy, said he was not surprised by New Zealand's showing. 

"I have watched them work now for three years," Sturmer said. "They are very contemporary, and they have very solid fundamentals. They did a good job."

JCCC's culinary program joined the competition in 2013 at the invitation of the participating colleges. They are:

JCCC students Brian Leeper and Gabrielle Edrosa, with an assist from alternate Vince Migliazzo, put together the winning dessert.  

It was a two-layer chocolate mousse over a hazelnut crunch crust with raspberry sorbet tuiles and orange sauce. The mousse was topped with meringue. Leeper gave Edrosa most of the credit.

"Her hands constructed it," he said, adding he mostly handled the oven duties. Edrosa, however, saw it differently. "I would say most of the credit should go to him," she said.

Either way, both said they appreciated the opportunity to participate.

"This was actually my first competition," Edrosa said, "so I thought it would be really scary and that I would be nervous. But I had a lot of fun."