Monroe College’s Culinary Institute of New York to Host 11th Annual “America’s Best High School Chef” Tomorrow

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Competition invites talented high school chefs from across the nation to showcase their culinary talent and compete for scholarships

Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, today announced that its Culinary Institute of New York (CINY) will host its 11th annual America’s Best High School Chef (ABHSC) competition tomorrow, March 9, at its Culinary Arts Center in New Rochelle. As part of ABHSC, CINY’s expert judges will also select a talented young pâtissier to receive the America’s Best High School Pastry Chef title.

Each year, this popular competition attracts some of the nation’s most promising high school chefs, enabling them to showcase their culinary skills for the opportunity to secure a full academic scholarship to attend Monroe College’s Culinary Institute of New York (CINY). Led by Dean Frank Costantino, CINYs culinary competition team – captained by 2017 ABHSC winner Casey Creazzo of New Jersey – recently won the Student Team Northeast Regional Championship title for the third time in the last four years. Dean Costantino was himself named Northeast Regional Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation at the same event.

The 48 students invited to participate in the ABHSC culinary competition this year will begin by demonstrating core food preparation competencies in the Basic Skills Round. The 16 students that receive the highest overall score will progress to the semi-final Salad Basket Round, which asks that students prepare a creative salad dish using a list of assigned ingredients. The top eight students from that round will then move onto the final, Mystery Basket Round, requiring them to prepare two identical servings of an entrée of their choosing, using only the select ingredients designated by the judges. The winner of that round will be awarded the “America’s Best High School Chef” title and the academic scholarship; those placing second and third will be offered partial scholarships to attend CINY.

The America’s Best High School Pastry Chef competition will this year feature eight budding pâtissiers, who previously submitted their signature dessert recipe for consideration and were selected to compete. During the contest, participants must prepare two portions of their upscale, restaurant-quality dessert within a 90-minute timeframe. This dish should include five key components: the main item, a sauce, a cookie or crisp item, chocolate, and fruit.

“Each year we look forward to hosting 'America's Best High School Chef’ competition, and are continually impressed by the passion, creativity, and commitment of these aspiring future professionals,” said Dean Frank Costantino, EdD CEC CCE CCA AAC. “We work hard every day to provide a high-quality educational experience that inspires and motivates aspiring chefs to achieve excellence. We are proud to nurture the next generation of culinary talent and, in many cases, serve as a springboard for their successful future endeavors.”

The Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College is an award-winning, nationally recognized culinary institute that provides students with a combination of theoretical education and hands-on experience in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality management. With facilities designed to simulate the kitchens of restaurants, hotels, and large production operations, students receive personal instruction and mentorship from a faculty of ACF-certified chefs and experienced industry professionals who are committed to their success.

Past winners of CINY’s annual America’s Best High School Chef Competition have gone on to excel in their culinary education, honing their skills in numerous American Culinary Federation contests.

Since 2009, CINY has produced award-winning culinary teams, students, faculty and staff, as well as a critically acclaimed student-run restaurant, The Dining Lab, which was described as a "training ground for students" by The Wall Street Journal and "the little kitchen that could" by The New York Times. Monroe’s culinary program has won nearly 1,000 American Culinary Federation medals to date. More information, including admissions criteria, is available online.

Founded in 1933, Monroe College is a recognized leader in urban and international education. The College is proud of its innovative programs to increase college access, affordability, and completion outcomes, especially among first-generation students. The strength of its warm, supportive culture is reflected in the personal connections fostered among students, faculty, and staff.

Monroe educates close to 8,000 students each year, offering Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs from campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and St. Lucia. Students may also take courses online.

Programs are offered through seven academic schools, including the Schools of Allied Health Professions, Business & Accounting, Criminal Justice, Education, Hospitality Management and the Culinary Institute of New York (CINY), Information Technology, and Nursing, as well as through King Graduate School. Liberal arts and continuing education programs are also available. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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Jacqueline Ruegger
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