SCCC finishes runner-up at national culinary competition again


Two years, two runner-up finishes on the national stage for the Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Arts Knowledge Bowl Team.

On Saturday, the team won second place in the Jeopardy-style competition of culinary knowledge held in Orlando, Fla. — just more than a year after it performed the same feat in Kansas City.

“I am very lucky to have an extremely dedicated team,” said SCCC assistant professor Andrea Glick, who served as the team’s coach. “I’m still so proud of them.”

The team, composed of three Long Island students and one New Jersey student, won its regional competition in February, so it represented the northeast in the four-team national contest on Saturday.

They matched up against the Lake Washington Institute of Technology from the western region, Kendall College from the central region and Savannah Technical College from the southeastern region.

In a double-elimination competition, the SCCC team made it to the final for the second year in a row but ultimately fell to Kendall.

“We knew that Kendall had a fierce competitive edge,” Ms. Glick said.“They were eliminated last year, and they wanted to win, and they told us in no uncertain terms that we were going to do that. I don’t think our team could have been prepared more.”

The questions fell into five categories: general culinary knowledge, baking, sanitation, nutrition and Esscofier, a category based on legendary French chef Auguste Esscofier in which participants had to guess the recipe he wrote based on the ingredients listed.

“Our students put their knowledge and skills to the test in a highly competitive format,” said SCCC President Shaun McKay in a press release. “I congratulate our students and coaches. The Knowledge Bowl Team is an inspiration to us and indicative of the excellent training and education provided by our culinary arts program.”

Assistant Professor Andrea Glick, a Riverhead resident, coached the team to its success. Sherry Mazze of Farmingville served as the assistant coach, and North Brusnwick, N.J. resident Lillian Senior served as captain.

The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center is based in Riverhead on Main Street, and it offers modern facilities in which students can learn the ins and outs of the culinary field.

The rest of Suffolk’s team featured Samuel Keymel of Shirley, Leonardo Figueredo of Bellport and Jennifer Scherer of Westhampton Beach.

Those three will participate again next year — Ms. Senior cannot since the competition only allows each student to compete for two years — and Ms. Glick said they are already preparing.

“We have three returning team members, and we plan on winning next year,” she said.

Photo Caption: The SCCC Knowledge Bowl Team featured (from left) assistant coach Sherry Mazze, coach Andrea Glick, Lillian Senior, Samuel Keymel, Leonardo Figueredo and Jennifer Scherer. (Credit: SCCC)