Gateway Community College (GCC) student Lauren Manuck has been cooking since she was a little girl. Whenever her mother was making dinner, Lauren would pull a kitchen chair over, scoot next to her mom and help. Those early lessons paid off last month as Manuck won a $200 first prize in the GCC Dietetic Technology Program’s Chabaso Artisan Bread Recipe Contest sponsored by Chabaso Bakery. Her Sun Dried Tomato Crostini wowed the panel of judges. Soon, her recipe and others will appear on the Chabaso Bakery’s website.
The recipe featured a sun-dried tomato jam with a bit of goat cheese on a crostini made from Chabaso Bakery’s Ancient Grain Demi Ciabatta Bread. “I am so happy,” Manuck said. “I did it because I love to cook and to bake.”
The challenge was to create a healthy recipe using one of the New Haven-based bakery’s new line of healthful whole-grain artisan breads. Pam Russell, Chabaso’s marketing manager, said the company chose to sponsor the event and provide $500 in prizes to build upon its relationship with Gateway, now that the college has moved downtown. “Being involved in the community is a passion of our company’s. We thought this was a great way to engage students,” Russell said. Marcia Doran, Department Chairperson of Allied Health, said Gateway was thrilled when Chabaso asked to sponsor the recipe contest. “It is such a wonderful opportunity for our students,” she said.
The contest was an optional assignment in the Field Experience II class, said Elaine Lickteig, Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of the Dietetic Technology Program. She and Doran said the students worked very hard, developing their recipes, determining the nutritional content, creating brochures and preparing the food for the contest.
In addition to Manuck’s crostini, the panel of judges had the chance to taste Paula Warncke and Jennifer Osborne’s butternut apple soup in a Chabaso Ancient Grain bread bowl; Kathryn Farrell’s Panzella salad and Shaylene Haggerty and Sarah Luedee’s “veggie delight” sandwich.
The panel of judges included Russell and Alisa Ardito of Chabaso, and GCC judges Mary Ellen Cody, Dean of Development and Community Partnerships; Susan Swirsky, Administrative Assistant in the department of Development and Community Partnerships; Alice Pandolfi, Administrative Coordinator of Allied Health; and Marianne Lippard, clerk-typist in the Allied Health Department. The recipes were judged on taste, appearance and ease of preparation. Haggerty and Luedee said they enjoy cooking healthy foods and that creating their sandwich, with hummus, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions was a lot of fun.
With judging finished, the scores were tallied. “It was very close,” Doran said. Manuck placed first. All of the participants received a prize. Russell told the students she was very impressed with their presentations, professionalism, and their creative use of the bread in their healthy recipes. “We want to thank you for all the time and dedication you put into this,” she said.
Russell had more good news for the students: their recipes will soon be featured on the Chabaso Bakery website. The students will be invited to a photo shoot as their recipes are prepared and the general public will eventually be able to try the student recipes in their own kitchens. “I love the recipes on their website,” Farrell said. “To think our recipes will be there too, it’s great.”
“We will be able to say that we’re published!” Osborne added.