Culinology® CI Teams Ready for National Competition

While most Clemson students will be relaxing during spring break, two Creative Inquiry Culinology® teams will be busy making Tex-Mex appetizers for a panel of judges as they compete for a $5,000 prize. The 2012 Student Culinology® Competition, sponsored by the Research Chefs Association (RCA), will host six student team finalists from colleges around the country, including two teams from Clemson University, in  San Antonio, Texas on March 22.

Over the past three months, Clemson's two teams have been preparing for the competition by refining their appetizer in the kitchen and completing timed trial runs, as well as conducting sensory panels, which allow selected participants to sample and evaluate the product. Prior to the March 22 competition, the teams “will commercialize and ship their appetizer to the competition site in San Antonio”. During the on-site competition, teams will be given 90 minutes to prepare their gold standard recipe of the Tex-Mex appetizer and condiment. An expert panel of culinary professionals will then judge how well the gold standard recipe compares to the commercialized formula. Criteria will include flavor/aroma, texture, ingredient composition, presentation, professionalism, technical skills, and safety and sanitation.

Team mentor and adviser, Dr. Aubrey Coffee, has guided the two teams – the Texas Triangles and the Three Senoritas – as they perfect their appetizers for competition day. The Texas Triangles’ appetizer features green chili pork stuffed tortilla chips with a smoky poblano cheese sauce for dipping, while the Three Senoritas team will be creating spicy chorizo queso dip and smoked pork salsa roja. The Texas Triangles team includes team leader, Chad Carter, a Food Science graduate student, Mollye MacNaughton and JoAnna Gorcesky, who are sophomore and senior Food Science majors, respectively. The Three Senoritas team includes team leader, Keri Lipscomb, a second year graduate student in Food Science, Audrey Boushell and Kathryn Davis, both undergraduates majoring in Food Science, and Natalie Quin, a junior packaging science major.

Both teams have been blogging about their preparation for the competition since the beginning of February. The Texas Triangles team has overcome some early issues with dry dough and inconsistent cheese sauce, while the Three Senoritas team has worked to improve the texture of their queso and salsa.

For more information about the Student Culinology Competition, check out the RCA website here. And stay tuned to find out how the two Clemson teams do at the competition!     


Three Senoritas Team
Three Senoritas’ team members Audrey Boushell and Kathryn Davis prepare ingredients for their Gold Standard.