SMSU Team Qualifies for RCA Competition

Published Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A team of four Southwest Minnesota State University State University students has qualified for the Research Chefs Association Student Culinoloy Competition in New Orleans, La., on March 26.

Team members include Skyler Kontio, a senior Culinology major from Minneapolis, Minn.; Brianna Briggs, a senior Culinology major from Lester Prairie, Minn.; Jordan Rammelsberg, a senior Culinology major from Marion, Iowa; and Shakira Abu Samah, a sophomore Culinology major from Malaysia.

Six teams will compete in the finals. The competition is in its fifth year, and SMSU has qualified each year. SMSU has won two of the previous four competitions.

This year’s competition category is Barbecue Shrimp and Rosemary Biscuit. It is based on that same menu item from the restaurant Emeril’s Kitchen in New Orleans.

SMSU submitted its proposal in early December 2014, said Dr. Mark Traynor, assistant professor of Culinology. They were selected to compete earlier this year.

The team will prepare the meal, freeze it and then carry it with them to the competition. The day of the competition, they will then prepare the same item on-site. The goal is to have the frozen entre taste as close to the freshly-prepared gold standard shrimp and biscuit as possible.

“The students have been busy practicing every day,” said Traynor. “It’s an honor to be selected, and we hope to carry on the tradition of SMSU competing well in the finals.”

The finals will be streamed live online.