Champions of chow

Lane culinary students win fifth award in nine years

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The Lane Community College team of culinary students won the Best Bite Presentation and Hospitality category at the 2018 Chef’s Night Out event in early April to end the year with a taste of accomplishments.

“Chef’s Night Out is our last large public event for this academic year,” chef Cline Wanstall said. “The students created, designed and produced all of the food and booth layout and equipment with minimal coaching from instructors. We brainstorm a theme quite a few weeks ahead, then build a plan with a time frame and production volume.

Alongside the Presentation and Hospitality award, instructor and chef Shane Tracey and his Baking and Pastry team brought home the Best Bite Sweet Award.

In addition to the team’s accomplishments, Linda Hur and Jenifer Reid both received the Chef’s Night Out scholarship from The West Family Culinary Award.

LCC has been involved with the Chef’s Night Out event since 1999, when the event was called LCC Chefs of Tomorrow. For the past decade, the Lane Culinary program has been able to place in the top in at least one category of the event.

“My favorite part was learning about how to plan the whole event,” LCC culinary student Zoe Curtis said.

Challenged with an Italian farmer’s market theme this year, the LCC culinary students prepared a mouthwatering selection for their booth, including fresh spaghettini with garden greens, fresh radiatori with shiitake mushrooms and limoncello panna cotta with goat’s milk. With the skill and knowledge the team brought to the table, the culinary students were able to implement seasonal and local ingredients with their dishes.

“We got to learn a lot about our local vendors and our Learning Garden that is available on campus,” Hur said.

The Chef’s Night Out can be very important for the culinary students at the start of their careers. While practicing the skills they learned at LCC, the students could get a taste of what Eugene has to offer them after graduation. LCC students were given the opportunity to reach out to the community, making connections to local hospitality industry while showing the community what their culinary program has to offer.  

“It gave us a chance to engage with the first year participants that are having their first encounter with the production line and food preparation,” Hur said. “You work as a team, but we each get to take a break and go meet the other people there which are different restaurants from all over town.”

The Lane culinary students showcased their work with a sweet ending at the Chef’s Night Out event. As the Titans wrap up another school year, the culinary program is already looking ahead to their next event, the Harvest Dinner in October where the culinary program will take another stab at success.

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