March 26, 2014
Chef Ernest Servantes, executive chef for Sodexo at Texas Lutheran University and the 2012 winner of Food Network's Chopped Grill Masters, will be the chef-in-residence at Northampton Community College on Monday, March 31, and Tuesday, April 1.
A Texas State University and Culinary Institute of America graduate, Servantes grew up observing and learning his way around the kitchen at his grandmother's tamale restaurant. As a teen, he learned to grill his way to wins at local barbeque competitions while also starting at the bottom in the restaurant industry, eventually working his way up to a team leader and corporate trainer for Outback Steakhouse. Following the completion of his education, he worked as a sous chef before taking on his role with Sodexo and TLU, where he's been for seven years. He spends the weekends running his own catering business, Burnt Bean BBQ Company and is a member of the Texas Chef Association Culinary Federation and the World Association of Chef Societies.
When casting directors of Chopped became interested in finding a contestant among the pit masters of Texas's statewide competitions, Servantes was persuaded by his peers to interview for the show. The show started with 16 chefs and continued for a month, with the winners of the first four episodes competing against each other in the grand finale for a $50,000 prize. Following his win, Servantes spent part of 2013 traveling to various colleges with Sodexo's Signature Chef program. He has also since been featured on Destination America's BBQ Pit Masters.
A cooking demonstration will take place on Monday, March 31, at 6:00 p.m. in Lipkin Theatre, Kopecek Hall, on NCC's Main Campus at 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem Township. The cost, which includes recipes and tastings, is $10 per person. Tickets are available at the door. The dinner on Tuesday, April 1, at the Hampton Winds Restaurant is sold out.
The demonstration on Monday will include:
Deviled Eggs with cold Tea Smoked Tartar topped with a Spicy Chicharon
Texas Smoked Brisket Tostadas with Pickled onions
Chicken fried oysters Rockefeller
Grilled bar Sausage fig crostini topped with shiner bock glaze
Grilled duck tacos
The Robert C. Wood Chef-in-Residence program was established by the Wood Company (now Sodexo Wood) in 2000 to give culinary students the opportunity to work side-by-side with chefs from some of the region's top restaurants. While on campus, the chefs also share some of their favorite recipes with the public during a cooking demonstration and special dinners. Proceeds from the demonstration and the dinner will benefit the Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Arts Endowment Fund at NCC.
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