“We tried to keep it seasonal with the ingredients we selected,” Dubrule said. Following the adage that practice makes perfect, Dubrule said he has been practicing almost daily under the watchful eye of Campbell, trying to make sure all of the ingredients are ready to go on the plates within several minutes of the two-hour deadline. Being too early with the preparation creates as many problems as being late, he said.
“Everything really has to come out on the dot,” Dubrule said.
During the practice period, he said, he considers himself fortunate that his girlfriend likes to eat leftover risotto.
Dubrule said his family wanted to attend the competition but could not because it is not open to the public.
“They’re all rooting me on,” he said.
As for his chances of coming out on top?
“I’m going to give it my best,” he said. “I really do feel I have a good shot at winning. But it’s more about getting the experience and getting the opportunity down there. Even if I don’t win, I can at least get my name out there and let people see what I can do.”
Campbell, a professor at the Cobleskill campus for 19 years and a former restaurant chef himself, said he hopes Dubrule’s participation in the Almost Famous Chef Competition will put the Cobleskill program on the map.
“We’re breaking the ice here competition-wise, and we will be looking into getting into more competitions,” he said.