5th Annual East High School Iron Chef Competition to be held on May 4 at Wegmans Conference Center

When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 4th

Where: Wegmans Conference Center
400 Market Street (off Chili Avenue), Rochester, NY

ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-4-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Once again, the East High School Iron Chef Competition will bring together the culinary skills and hospitality management knowledge of eight high school students to compete for over $8,000 in scholarships to the school of their choice and to raise money for East High’s Culinary Program. The event will be held at Wegmans Conference Center.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the door or in advance for $35 individually or $250 for a table of eight or at any Wegmans Service Desk ‘That’s T.H.E. Ticket’ Center. Proceeds from the sale of tickets will go to the East High Culinary Program.

“This event has become part of the East High tradition where students now compete for the Iron Chef title,” says Program Administrator Alecia McLaughlin, “as well as scholarships, awards, and internships. We have watched this unique experience grow from the school cafeteria to the Wegmans Conference Center.”

Each of the eight East High culinary teams, made up of one student with two ‘celebrity’ sous chefs, will prepare a main-course entree in just one hour, all working from the same recipe. The ‘celebrity’ sous chefs include 98 PXYs Scott Spezzano; Peter Carpino with United Way; and Augie Melendez, President of the Hillside Work Scholarship Program.

The teams will be judged on various elements, including teamwork, personal appearance, food safety, knife skills, flavor, and presentation. The panel of expert judges includes Wegmans Executive Chef Chris Brandt, Wegmans Director of Asian Cuisine John Emerson, Wegmans Executive Chef Andy Golden, and local Rochester chefs, John Freeze and Brad Yearwood.

“It’s been an amazing experience to watch the students flourish in this incredible program and to be able to support their efforts,” says John Emerson, Wegmans’ director of Asian cuisine. “This is going to be a very exciting competition.”

In addition to the eight competing culinary students, 10 East High students from the Hospitality and Tourism and Information Technology classes will be participating in the event to gain valuable experience in their field of study. They will assist with such things as ticket sales at the door, event set-up and break-down, and audio visual needs.

“Our sincerest thanks go to the Rochester City School District staff, students, families, alumni, and the sponsors who make this event possible,” added McLaughlin.

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About the East High School Culinary Program
The Culinary Program is one of the successful East High School Programs where 100% of the graduating seniors go onto college or work. The program began in 2000 when Chef Jeff Christiano, then Executive Chef at the Woodcliff, was challenged to build a workforce of student chefs to support the industry. Chef Christiano accepted that challenge and has continued to grow the Culinary Program at East embracing partnerships with companies like Wegmans, Advantage Federal Credit Union, Sam’s Club, Foodlink, Maines, Red Apple and Latinas Unidas, to name a few.

The invaluable partnership developed with Wegmans affords East High School students the opportunity to learn culinary techniques alongside Wegmans Executive Chefs, as well as what excellence in the career looks like. Many of East High Schools’ alumni in culinary and current students gain employment at Wegmans and aspire to one day become Executive Chefs or sole proprietors. Students complete industry-based curriculum, receive work-based learning experiences, as well as internship and volunteer work expertise.

East High School is proud to be the home to this unique program where students express feeling like part of a family.

About Wegmans
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 84-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years.

Contact Information:

Jo Natale, Wegmans’ director of media relations, 585-429-3627
Alecia McLaughlin, Program Administrator, East High School, 585-288-3130 x6261