Mattocks Wins Berks Top Chef Challenge
Adam Mattocks, a chef at Penn State Berks, was the winner of the college's first Top Chef Challenge in which students in the college's Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) program, as well as other members of the Penn State Berks community, showcased their culinary skills on Tuesday, March 24, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Lion's Den of the Perkins Student Center.
The challenge required the four contestants to submit an original recipe, using a four-ounce boneless chicken breast as the primary ingredient. With identical equipment, contestants had eighty minutes to prep, cook, clean, and exit their station in front of a panel of judges and an audience.
Mattocks's winning dish was cheddar and bacon stuffed chicken breast served with spicy Fettuccini Alfredo and broccoli flambé. In second place was aspiring chef and local resident, Janson Girard, and third place went to Tina Cyr, Penn State Berks Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) student.
In addition, there were four "celebrity" judges including Penn State Berks Chancellor Susan Phillips Speece; Bill Laychur, Penn State Corporate Executive Chef; John Walker, Director of Housing and Food Services at Penn State Berks; and Linda MacDuff, Manager of Housing and Food Service at Penn State Berks. The Top Chef Challenge is sponsored by Penn State Berks Housing and Food Services.
The Top Chef Challenge was the idea of Christine Hart, sophomore HRIM major, and head of the Berks HRIM Society. "I decided to take on the Top Chef Challenge because I wanted to organize an event that I knew students would like and be able to be a part of," Hart explained. "We had three great contestants who worked well together and who were able to create and amazing environment for our audience through their cuisines and creative dishes."
Following the success of the first challenge, Hart is working on making the Top Chef Contest an annual event at the college.