Penn State Harrisburg chef wows at culinary conference
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In June, David Cramer, a chef at Penn State Harrisburg’s Stack’s food court, was one of eight Penn State chefs to win a culinary competition at the 2013 Chef Culinary Conference in Amherst, Mass. The group, along with a chef from the University of Massachusetts, competed in the California Asian Fusion Challenge sponsored by Johnson & Wales.
“When we found out we had won the competition, we were ecstatic,” said Cramer. “The judges loved our food and we thought we had a chance to win. It was a great feeling to know that we won as a team, and that we represented Penn State with pride and integrity.”
The challenge was part of the Cultural, Healthy and Full Flavored Foods Lecture and Production at this year’s conference. The event required teams to prepare a menu of two soups, two appetizers, one salad, a vegetarian dish, and main course plates featuring beef, poultry and seafood.
Cramer’s contribution was a king crab wonton appetizer.
The conference emphasized healthy, flavorful and environmentally responsible food options, while also exploring Asian, Latin American and Mediterranean influences. Ultimately, the focus was on the customer.
“Today’s students are looking for more variety in our menus,” said Cramer. “They aren’t just eating chicken fingers and hamburgers anymore. They demand healthy, fresh and sustainable options on our menus.”