Muskegon culinary students take home title at cooking championship

Posted at 6:41 AM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 06:41:52-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. --  A team of students from Muskegon’s Culinary Institute of Michigan, a division of Baker College, has won the 2019 American Culinary Federation (ACF) Knowledge Bowl National Championship.

The team of four student chefs, all of West Michigan, earned the CIM’s first-ever ACF Knowledge Bowl national title at the competition finals on Aug. 7 in Orlando.

The winning CIM Muskegon team members include Stanley Mersino (Baking & Pastry) of Spring Lake, Rachelle Murphy (Food & Beverage Management) of Grand Haven, Camryn Potter (Baking & Pastry) of Zeeland, and Kate Strauss (Culinary Arts) also of Grand Haven.  They were coached to victory by CIM Chef Instructor Amanda Miller, CC, CPC.

Formally known as the ACF Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, the competition includes multiple rounds of a “Jeopardy”-style trivia competition, with questions covering topics such as nutrition, baking, culinary math, safety and sanitation and the arts of classical and modern cooking.

“They absolutely crushed the opposition … Our team never lost a round,” said Chef Tom Recinella, CEC, AAC, HGT, Baker College’s Dean of Culinary.  "In my 32 years being involved with the ACF, I have never seen such a dominating win at the National Championship. It really speaks to the dedication and devotion of their coach in preparing them, as well as their own drive and focus.  This is a real feather in our cap here at the CIM.”

To earn the school’s first-ever ACF Knowledge Bowl National Championship, the CIM team bested regional competition winners from culinary schools in Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia.