Culinary students at Oswego County BOCES recently visited Wegmans in DeWitt for a shopping trip as part of a class project.
Under the instruction of Chef Sue Jerrett, students were tasked with choosing a recipe, gathering ingredients at the store and preparing the dish to present banquet style for a panel of judges.
Students were introduced to the store’s executive chef, who started his career in the meat department and is now one of five area managers.
The executive chef explained how working in the grocery store is different than being a chef in a restaurant as he works directly with the customer and not behind the scenes.
Students toured the store, and completed a scavenger hunt that spanned various departments.
Students had to answer questions about product life, grades of fruit and name unfamiliar vegetables. Some questions required students to use digital scales in the produce department and to speak with Wegmans employees.
After their introduction to the store, students were given an hour to shop for ingredients for their project.
Morning students chose recipes that masked ingredients, while students in the afternoon class chose an around the world theme.
All students were required to use one mandatory ingredient: pork.
Bacon frosted cupcakes, pork tenderloin with Cajun blueberry sauce, meatball soup and broccoli salad were just some of the recipes students selected to create.
On March 19, morning culinary students competed against afternoon students for the challenge title. A panel of Oswego County BOCES employees served as judges, rating the students on their poster boards, food presentation and professionalism.
The spread was set up in the mall area and included two appetizers, a soup, salad, vegetable, two entrees and two deserts.
Overall, the afternoon class received higher marks than the morning class.
The winning dish was corn bread stuffed pork tenderloin made by students Steven Tyler Courtney (Oswego) and Fred Ashby Jr. (Fulton) in the afternoon class.