Novice chefs battle in kitchen for menu spot – Houston Chronicle

Novice chefs battle in kitchen for menu spot – Houston Chronicle

Food experience
Four chefs studying at the Art Institute of Houston zested limes, sliced fruit and meticulously arranged dishes on tiny plates Sunday morning as they competed for a spot on The Palm Houston’s menu.Outside the kitchen, brunch patrons enjoyed a swanky buffet and breakfast cocktails, waiting for the competition to begin and watching the chefs prepare their dishes on three large TVs with live feed from the kitchen.Stephanie Kesler, restaurant manager at The Palm, created the Making the Menu competition. “It just kind of clicked that I wanted to work with up-and-coming chefs, so I immediately got with the Culinary Institute of Houston, ” said Kesler.The student chefs, Brandon Jolley-Samples, Leurisa Watson, Matthew Lowell, and Tabitha Lima, were recommended by their instructors to compete.
Each student was asked to create an amuse-bouche, appetizer and entrée, all with an Italian flair.Judging the competition were Josh Hairthorne, regional director of operations for The Palm, Vanessa Garner, chef and instructor at the Art Institute of Houston’s Culinary Arts School and Steve Griffin, head of the Art Institute of Houston’s Culinary Arts School.Matthew Lowell, 22, who won the competition, has been cooking professionally for a year and a half. “I had no idea where to ....

Each ingredient has a story element.”The stories Lowell creates are inspired by his personal life as well as his interests.“I write slice-of-life fiction or I’ll do a little supernatural twist on it, ” Lowell said.
“Storytelling with cooking just adds a new challenge to it.”.......... .

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