Tri-C Culinary Arts student Mark McQueen wins Pierre's Ice Cream Challenge
October 21, 2016
Culinary student Mark McQueen watched as spoons dipped into his entry at the Pierre’s Ice Cream Challenge, a dessert competition held at the Hospitality Management Center of Excellence at Cuyahoga Community College.
The room quieted as the panel of judges took a taste of McQueen’s lemon and raspberry panna cotta. A one-word verdict broke the silence: “Wow.”
McQueen, of Cleveland, won the third annual Pierre’s Ice Cream Challenge on Oct. 19 with an artistic and colorful dessert that looked as perfect as it tasted. He topped four other finalists from Tri-C’s culinary program.
Students in the competition created an original dessert incorporating a frozen delicacy made by Cleveland-based Pierre’s Ice Cream. That left plenty of options given the company’s line of 235 products and flavors of ice cream, sherbets, frozen yogurts, sorbets and other treats.
Judges considered presentation, creativity, difficulty, how the dessert showcased Pierre’s products and — of course — taste.
McQueen’s winning entry featured Pierre’s Raspberry Sherbet and Lemon Sorbet in a recipe that included heavy cream and powder gelatin. He topped the cool concoction with raspberries and crumbled shortbread cookies and served it in oversized martini glasses.
“I wanted something refreshing,” McQueen said. “It took some experimenting, but in the end I thought it came out pretty good.”
McQueen has always gravitated toward the kitchen. He attended the culinary arts program at Cleveland’s Jane Addams Business Careers Center while in high school. His father is a professional chef.
The 25-year-old began taking classes at Tri-C’s Hospitality Management Center last spring after exploring a few other career options. He expects to graduate in fall 2017. His goal is to work as a private chef.
Nearly 50 Tri-C culinary students submitted recipes for the Pierre’s Ice Cream Challenge. McQueen was one of five finalists. He joined Humberto Sanchez of Cleveland Heights, who finished second with a rendition of the Italian cannoli that used Pierre’s Signature Cherries & Chocolate Chunks Ultimate Ice Cream; Angel Betancourt of Westlake, who featured Pierre’s Mango Sorbet and Passion Fruit Sorbet in a dessert inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage; Beverly Russell of Cleveland, who created a pie-themed treat based around Pierre’s Signature Mocha Mud Pie Ultimate Ice Cream; and Patrick Lyles of Cleveland, who mixed up a three-layer milkshake made with Pierre’s Signature Cookie Butter Fudge Ultimate Ice Cream, Premium Classic Vanilla Ice Cream and Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
Pierre’s President and CEO Shelley Roth, who served as one of the event judges, said she is always impressed seeing the creative ways Tri-C culinary students use her company’s products in the competition.
The recipes from each of the finalists will be posted at www.pierres.com/blog.
Learn more about the Tri-C Culinary Arts-Hospitality Management Program.