The drive and determination we see in our students here at Helms College never ceases to amaze — this is evident within and beyond the classroom. While many college students spent their spring break at a beach, some of the students from the Polly Long Denton School of Hospitality at Macon’s Helms College were exhibiting their culinary skills at Localicious 2016.
Localicious is an annual local culinary event that brings the Macon community together, including food growers and producers. The celebration also highlights local music and art. Localicious also features a cooking contest with prizes awarded in two categories, Judge’s Prize and People’s Choice. This year’s competition was aptly named “Making it With the Fab Five” as contestant chefs could use protein, fats, vegetables, fruits and grain. The dishes must use some or all of those ingredients. There was also an impetus for the contestants to promote recipes with local ingredients.
This event helps solidify the emphasis on local foods as taught at Helms College: “The Polly Long Denton School of Hospitality is striving to be at the forefront of culinary education that ensures its student population not only understands what it takes to be a chef by being able to attain and maintain a career, but that quality, healthy, seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients are the future of our industry and communities.”
This year, four teams consisting of Helms College culinary students competed in the contest, winning first place in People’s Choice and first and second place in the Judge’s Prize.
One of the competing students, Elizabeth Nelson, said her team created the recipe that won first place in People’s Choice and second place in the Judge’s Prize categories. The recipe was bacon-wrapped chicken with strawberry honey dipping sauce. Not only was the dish the winner among those who bought a ticket to vote in the People’s Choice award, it was a crowd-pleaser too; guests quickly devoured the 250 servings prepared for the event.
Nelson’s team chose ingredients from the Macon and Warner Robins farmer’s markets to create their dish, including the strawberries that were used for the dipping sauce. Nelson picked those at Elliot Farms.
This was Nelson’s first culinary competition As a fourth-quarter student, she plans to enroll in the Associates program at Helms Collge following graduation. Her passion is baking, and someday she hopes to own her own catering company.
This event is an example of the experiential learning experiences offered to Helms College students and a testament to the motivation towards constant development of our culinary program.
Contact us to learn more about the Helms College culinary program of the Polly Long Denton School of Hospitality Institute and the Augusta School of Hospitality. Our program is raising the bar among cooking schools all over the country.