Wegmans to Host Teen Iron Chef Contest
The Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester, N.Y., will host the East High School Iron Chef Competition, which enables six high schoolers to pit their culinary skills and hospitality management knowledge against one another for a $500 scholarship to their preferred school and to raise money for East High’s Culinary Program.
Tickets for the April 14 event can be purchased at the door or in advance for $35 at any Wegmans service desk “That’s T.H.E. Ticket” center. Proceeds from ticket sales will also go to the high school’s Culinary Program.
“This event has become part of the East High tradition where students now compete for the Iron Chef title,” noted program administrator Alecia McLaughlin, “as well as scholarships, awards and internships. We have watched this unique experience grow from the school cafeteria to the Wegmans Conference Center.”
Each of the six culinary teams, consisting of one East High student and two local “celebrity” sous chefs, will create a main-course entree in one hour, all teams working from the same recipe. They will be evaluated on such elements as teamwork, personal appearance, food safety, knife skills, flavor and presentation. Food Network chef Daisy Martinez, Wegmans director of asian cuisine John Emerson, Wegmans executive chef Andy Golden, and Rochester-based chefs Mike Speranza and Brad Yearwood will round out the judging panel.
“My involvement in last year’s competition and with the cooking class at school has been personally rewarding,” said Emerson. “It’s a privilege to watch the students learn, grow and develop in this incredible program at East High and to see how the food industry can play a supporting role.”
As well as the six competing culinary students, 20 East High students from the Academies of Hospitality and Tourism, Finance and Information Technology will take part in the event to gain experience in their respective fields of study.
Based in Rochester, family-owned Wegmans Food Markets Inc. operates 81 supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.