Tri-C Students Compete in 2015 Ultimate Culinary Clash
Help pick Cleveland’s winner by dining at Table 45 on March 14, 21 or 28
Three top culinary students from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will compete against each other in March to advance in the 2015 Ultimate Culinary Clash by InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts.
One of the finalists – Brian Bendlak, Magdalis Galarza and Jeffrey Johnson – will represent Cleveland in the Ultimate Culinary Clash in San Francisco on May 6 and compete against other culinary students from around the world.
The local winner will emerge from a three-week competition taking place March 14, 21 and 28 at Table 45 at InterContinental Hotel Cleveland. Each finalist gets a Saturday night in the restaurant’s kitchen to prepare a three-course meal, which will be rated by celebrity judges and diners.
Tickets to each night of the competition at Table 45 are $40, which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert. A wine pairing can be added for $20. (Gratuity and tax are not included.)
Seating is limited for the competition dinners, which run 5 – 7 p.m. on the selected dates. To reserve a seat, call Katy Weaver at 216-707-4160. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center Scholarship Fund.
Here is the lineup of students, with their chosen menus:
March 14 – Magdalis Galarza
Galarza moved to Cleveland from Puerto Rico almost a decade ago. She discovered Tri-C, applied to the Culinary Arts program and graduated magna cum laude in December with her Associate of Applied Business in Hospitality Management. She is working on a second degree in restaurant and food management. Galarza is a sauté chef at Fire Food & Drink after starting at the restaurant via an internship through the College.
Appetizer: Shrimp ceviche and golden brown coconut arepaEntrée: Grilled skirt steak with creamy horseradish aioli and potato-cauliflower fritterDessert: Passion fruit mousse with lace almond cookie and dark chocolate
March 21 – Brian Bendlak
Bendlak was a structural draftsman for 12 years but gave it up to pursue a career as a chef, his first passion. Inspired by his grandfathers, who were both excellent cooks, he enrolled in Tri-C’s culinary program in 2012. The Boston Heights resident is on pace to graduate with an associate degree in December. He works in the production facility for Innovation Foods/Reds Catering, where he cooks for the café and handles catering.
Appetizer: Pan-seared scallop with beet pureeEntrée: Lacquered duck breast with roasted pearl onions and carrotsDessert: Blueberry meringue cookie with lemon basil cream filling
March 28 – Jeffrey Johnson
Johnson completed his Associate of Applied Business in Hospitality Management in 2014 and is now adding to his expertise by gaining a few of the program’s certificates in culinary arts and restaurant and food management. The Mayfield Heights resident came to Tri-C because of the low cost and high quality of the Hospitality Management program and cites his instuctors as one of the College’s best assets. He works at Shaker Heights Country Club after previously serving as sous chef at Moxie.
Appetizer: Tempura shrimp with Asian slawEntrée: Braised hoisin short rib with coconut-lime rice cake, ginger carrot puree, bok choy and vegetablesDessert: Lemongrass cheesecake with cherry and star anise compote, cardamom cream and pistachio
The three student finalists were selected for the competition during a “mini-clash” held March 3 at Tri-C’s Hospitality Management Center of Excellence on Public Square. The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishers will serve as sous chefs for the finalists at Table 45.
About Table 45
Table 45 at the InterContinental Cleveland features richly flavored world cuisine in a chic, minimalist setting. Chef and restaurateur Zack Bruell intended the restaurant to highlight all experiences, including an emerging trend toward casual elegance, where people can experience high-end dining without the fussiness of formal restaurants. The concept for Table 45 emerged from Bruell’s conviction that top restaurants must now entice all senses and appeal to various moods. To facilitate the eclectic menu, Table 45 is equipped with two tandoor clay ovens for a variety of foods, including Indian breads fused to flavors from other cultures, such as Lebanese hummus. Table 45 is open weekdays for lunch and dinner; weekends for dinner only. www.tbl45.com
About InterContinental Hotels Cleveland
The InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center is located at 9801 Carnegie Ave. in Cleveland. The hotel features 35,000 square feet of newly renovated meeting space, including a 500-seat, state-of-the-art amphitheater, a grand ballroom and eight large meeting rooms. It offers a total of 295 guest rooms and 27 suites, with a number of special features that cater to the needs of its clientele. The InterContinental’s guest rooms have recently undergone a modern transformation to provide the best in innovative design, comfort and convenience for guests. The InterContinental Cleveland recently received the AAA Four-Diamond Award for 2015. The hotel was also named one of the best in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report. www.intercontinental.com.
March 06, 2015
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org