The winning team, titled "Lettuce Turnip the Beet," included ECU students Jennifer Freeman, Amanda West and Elizabeth Kroeger with mystery chef Nydeira Council.
The other teams were "Legendiary," with Frank Walsh, Ashton Kidwell and William Scott Allen; "NutriYummy!" with Ayushi Shah, Michelle LaRue, Maria Bailey and Matt Haak; and "Slim Jim" with Maryssa Kuchta, Andrew Reynolds, Kimberly Opsal and Monisha Mayo.
ECU hospitality leadership student Elizabeth Copeland has been a part of the event for three years and was chosen to manage this year’s event. “The event went very smoothly especially given that we added the high school students to the mix,” Copeland said.
"I am very happy about how things turned out and quite proud of everyone because the food was delicious. Also, it was an amazing opportunity to work with ECU-TV to record the event for their channel. It really helps us to reach a broader audience,” she said.
J.H. Rose High School student Nydeira Council saw the competition as a way to challenge her problem-solving abilities. “Everything we learn in the food classes at school helped prepare me for the event, but being in the kitchen at Steel Chef really challenged me to think on my feet,” Council said.
Cyr said he looks forward to even more competitors next spring. “The more the merrier. Come on out and show your stuff; it's a lot of fun,” he said.
“We are very proud of all of the student competitors – even if it was a nutrition team that ultimately won this hospitality event,” said Dr. Robert O’Halloran, chair of the School of Hospitality Leadership. “Next year we will reclaim the top spot!”
The event is sponsored by the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, Eta Sigma Delta and the Pirate Planners.