The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

May 12, 2012

Area chefs have been feasting on the competition

Daily Star

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Some local chefs are cooking winning fare.

A five-student team from the State University College of Technology at Delhi recently won the American Culinary Federation's Northeast Region Student Team Championship.

The competition was during the 2012 ACF Northeast Regional Conference in Niagara Falls from April 28 to 30.

This is the sixth time a SUNY Delhi team has won the regional competition and qualified for the national competition in Florida in July, where it will have a chance to repeat their predecessors' 2010 national victory, a media release from the federation said.

Also, Ross Thompson of Oneonta won Riviana Foods' What's in Your Wok? Fried Rice Competition at the same conference, and he advances to the national level.

Thompson, a member of ACF Chefs and Cooks of the Catskill Mountains, is sous chef at The Plains at Parish Homestead in Oneonta.

In the recent event, Thompson and three other contestants had 20 minutes to create an original fried-rice dish. Thompson won $250 for his African Fried Rice. He said it was his first ACF competition.

"It means a lot to win because I have worked hard to keep up my ACF certification," he said in a release. "I really want to put my name out there as a chef."

The regional conference drew more than 500 chefs, cooks and professionals and also offered seminars and cooking demonstrations.

Members of the SUNY Delhi team, which represented ACF Chefs and Cooks of the Catskill Mountains, are James Russell, Leonard Messina, Stephanie Wickert, captain Mathew Howard and Edward Maley. The American Academy of Chefs, ACF's honor society, gave $1,000 to the team to assist with expenses to travel to the national competition.

The SUNY Delhi team will compete at nationals against three teams.

"Winning the regional competition is proof to the team that all the hard work was worth it," Victor Sommo, team coach, said in the release. "I think the team is most excited that they get to cook together again."

A State University College at Oneonta sophomore has won a competitive scholarship from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA.

David Loveless of Roseland, N.J., a meteorology major, has been selected to receive an Ernest Hollings Scholarship provided by the NOAA, parent agency of the National Weather Service, a media release said. About 100 Hollings undergraduate scholars are selected annually from an average of 900 applications.

Loveless will receive $8,000 of academic assistance during his junior and senior years and a 10-week paid internship at a NOAA facility next summer. Loveless is an excellent student and "a great example of the kind of leader we hope all students can be," Todd Ellis, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at SUNY Oneonta, said in the release.

Loveless said he was "born to be a meteorologist."

"It has been my dream to work for the National Weather Service," he said in the release. "So working with the NOAA will be an awesome experience."

Hartwick College collected tons of recyclable materials in about two months, which resulted in a third-place ranking in the college's first outing in the RecycleMania Tournament.

Between Feb. 5 and March 31, Hartwick students, faculty and staff recovered 64,524 pounds of organic and recyclable materials, a media release from the Oneonta college said.

Hartwick placed third place among 24 New York state schools in the per capita category and 22nd out of 321 schools nationwide, among other results cited.

In 2001, two schools competed, the RecycleMania website said, and this year, 605 colleges and universities entered the challenge.

"It's very exciting for Hartwick to do this well in our very first year of the competition," Dan Morse, Hartwick's coordinator of Sustainability Programs, said in the release.

RecycleMania is a trademarked program of the RecycleMania Inc., a nonprofit organization. Keep America Beautiful provides program management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program and the College & University Recycling Coalition provide program support, with corporate sponsorships.

Denise Richardson can be reached at 432-1000 or (800) 721-1000, ext. 213, or at