LU News Archive

Area schools whip up awards at LU Hospitality Challenge 2011

Lamar University’s Hospitality Management program recently hosted its seventh annual Hospitality Challenge 2011 with students from area high schools competing in three categories of culinary and food service contests. 

Twenty-two students competed in teams of two in one of three categories: Culinary Division 1, Culinary Division 2 and Foodservice. Competitors in the culinary divisions were judged on a food sculpture centerpiece, trays of cold canapés, dessert plate presentation and knife skills. Competitors in the foodservice division created a spring-themed event that included a menu, table setting and centerpiece, as well as providing an event cost analysis and poster presentation of their process. Judges scored teams based on American Culinary Federation Competition Standards.

Culinary Division 1 first-place winners were Josh Fontenot and Kaley Sanford, Hardin-Jefferson High School; second-place winners were Jennifer Paulus and Terrie LeJune, Silsbee High School; and third-place winners were Zach Shelton and Macaela Pina, Nederland High School.

Culinary Division 2 first-place winners and silver medalists were Gavin Barham and Ebone Myles, College Street T&I Vocational Center, Lake Charles, La.

Foodservice winners and silver medalists were Jensen Anderson and Cassie Tobin, LaPoynor High School, Larue, Texas.

Overall top-scoring students Fontenot, Sanford, Barham, Myles, Anderson and Tobin each received a $250 scholarship to Lamar’s hospitality program. Culinary scholarships were provided by the Golden Triangle Chef’s Association and foodservice scholarships were provided by the Sabine Area Restaurant Association.

Program director Molly Dahm and instructor and certified executive chef Charles Duit organized the competition held on May 11.

“The competition gives high school students a chance to see what Lamar’s Hospitality Management program has to offer,” said Duit.

Other students and instructors who participated in the competition were Jared Motley and Jacy Johns, Logan McLelland and Mathew Barnes, Joanna Goldman, instructor, LaPoynor High School, Larue, Texas; James Fairchild and Samantha LeBlanc, Margie Wilkinson, instructor, Port Neches High School; Harley Welch and Grant Henserling, Kathy McDonough, instructor, Woodville High School; Donna Shannon, instructor, Silsbee High School; Liliana Saavedra and Melissa Arena, Liz Gallier, instructor, Hardin-Jefferson High School; Jeffery Hadnot and Kaleigha Thomas, Linda Long, instructor, Ozen High School; Kelly Reeves, instructor, Nederland High School; and Lorna Albers, instructor, College Street T&I Vocational Center, Lake Charles, La.

Judges for the culinary division were local chefs Traci Henry, Carley Andrews and LU senior Louann Walker. The foodservice judges were Dahm and Rachel McGee, LU senior. Door prizes and other donated items for participating schools included chef jackets, garnishing sets, a new cookbook and serving trays.

For information about Lamar University’s Hospitality and Culinary Programs, contact Molly Dahm at (409) 880-1744.