Jacksonville's Culinard hosts SkillsUSA competition, other Culinard news

Mar 14, 2014

Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Jacksonville, recently hosted a SkillsUSA competition for Florida high school students. SkillsUSA is a nationwide non-profit organization founded as a partnership with students, educators and industries in the United States to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Students participating in the competition represented 21 counties in northeast Florida. The commercial baking competitors were tasked with creating six products and demonstrate their cake decorating skills. The culinary competitors created a plated salad with their own dressing recipe, and were given ingredients to make a chicken dish with the appropriate starch and vegetable.

The two first place winners from each category received a $2,250 scholarship to Culinard. From here, the winners will go to the state competition.

Jacksonville's Culinard hosts SkillsUSA competition, other Culinard news
(Left) Culinary competition winner Jasmine Faison with Culinard Program Director, Chef Robert Henry (right)

Jacksonville's Culinard hosts SkillsUSA competition, other Culinard news
(Left) Chef Robert Henry and (right) Chef Darin Nine, SkillsUSA advisor and culinary arts teacher

Also in Jacksonville, chefs and students from Culinard created several delicious dishes for the 11th Annual Taste of Chocolate Challenge. The dishes were auctioned at the annual event, which benefits the local Family Nurturing Center. The center provides a safe and nurturing environment for families to gather and share time with each other after challenging times such as divorce, custody battles and domestic violence.

Culinard Jacksonville Culinary and Pastry students shared their chocolate creations with an appreciative crowd and raffled off a dinner for six, earning $3,000 for the Family Nurturing Center.

Download the program from the event here.

In Richmond, Culinard student John Michaels won a 2014 Elby award for Culinary Student of the Year. The three-year-old restaurant award, which Richmond Magazine started in 2012, is Richmond's most prestigious local industry award.

Last year, Savannah Culinard students donated 1,1,53 pounds of food to America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, according to a recent thank you letter from the organization's executive director.

Jacksonville's Culinard hosts SkillsUSA competition, other Culinard newsL-R Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson and his wife Jean are joined by Kitchen on George General Manager Craig Parker and Historic Mobile Society President Michon Trent

In Mobile, Kitchen on George recently hosted the "Raise the Roof" event to benefit the Historic Mobile Preservation Society. The wine and cheese event was attended by more than 100 guests, including Mobile Mayor Sandy Stinson.

"We are excited to partner with the Historic Mobile Preservation Society for this great event," said Kitchen on George General Manager Craig Parker. "This organization is devoted to significant preservation work for the Mobile community, and we are honored to host this event."

Students from Culinard in Mobile serve externships at Kitchen on George and are frequently hired to work at the upscale casual eatery.