Food as Art Students Create Decadent Works of Art in Time-Restricted Environment – Posted 12/14/15

County College of Morris (CCM) hospitality and culinary arts students recently were able to take part in a real-time baking experience that saw them put together beautiful and tasty cakes for judging.

Students in the college’s Food as Art class were charged with creating and decorating cakes that were then judged by the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program Advisory Board on Thursday, December 11. The cake competition is considered part of each student’s portfolio and participation, which accounts for 20 percent of the final grade.

“We were all in the teaching kitchen starting at about 7 a.m.,” said Hannah Southway, of Newton, who won first place for her carrot cake.

Each student cut and served his or her respective cake to the judges while answering their questions. The advisory board consists of many area business men and women from the hospitality and culinary world, including Jennifer Burrini, director of catering at Burrini’s Olde World Market in Randolph; Lorrie Miller, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Rockaway; and Steve DiGioia, director of catering at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg.

The top three cakes were awarded ribbons from the judges. Joining Southway in receiving awards were Samantha-Lee Pretorius, of Andover, who won second place for her cake titled “Spring Picnic in the Park;” and Ashley Mejias, of Randolph, who took third for her cake “French Vanilla Sensation.” Also producing culinary creations were Jesse Courtman, of Towaco; Kathleen Jorgensen, of Lake Hiawatha; and Thomas DiTocca, of Long Valley.

“The competition provided a hands-on, real-time situation for our students to learn from,” said Mark Cosgrove, chair of the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts program at CCM. “Lessons on what to and what not to do came up while they worked on their cakes. In the end, our students presented some wonderful desserts for our judges to sample from both an artistic and taste standpoint.”

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Photo 1: From left to right, County College of Morris students Samantha-Lee Pretorius, of Andover; Jesse Courtman, of Towaco; Hannah Southway, of Newton; Ashley Mejias, of Randolph; Kathleen Jorgensen, of Lake Hiawatha; and Thomas DiTocco, of Long Valley, stand next to the cakes they made for judging in their Food as Art class.

Photo 2: County College of Morris student Hannah Southway, of Newton, and her first-place winning carrot cake.