Students Compete for Chance of a Lifetime

Winners will work in Emeril’s New Orleans restaurants

Culinary Student

Eight Northampton Community College (NCC) culinary and hospitality management students participated in this year’s Emeril’s externship competitions for the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, to work in four of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants: NOLA, Emeril’s Delmonico, Meril and Emeril’s New Orleans.  If they win, the students will also have the opportunity to work Emeril’s famed Boudin, Bourbon & Beer event at the Superdome and his foundation’s annual black tie gala dinner, the Carnivale du Vin.


Students who competed were hospitality students Kayla Kashlak and Brianna Stewart and culinary students Chavarre Fladger, Brad Holub, Edilia Matias, Katie Mengel, Tashina Mora, and Veronica Trevino. The winners will be announced by Chef Emeril himself at the opening dinner of the Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival on May 31.


Culinary students were tasked with creating four dishes with items from a mystery basket that they had no advance knowledge of the contents. This year’s basket contained Hatfield ground pork, fennel, red snapper, Boursin cheese, Cornish game hens, dried cranberries and also had a few curve balls: Mike & Ike candies, Eggo waffles, Jiffy corn mix, and V-8 vegetable juice.  The food was judged by Sands Executive Chef Victor Bock and Vice President of Food and Beverage Lam Vongsakoun; Corporate Executive Chef of Clemens Food Jennifer Moyer Murphy, Jennifer Sheehan of The Morning Call, Will Lewis of WFMZ, and Chef Susan Roth, NCC culinary instructor.

“We have a great relationship with Emeril Lagasse and we are very grateful for that,” said Chef Francine Marz, director of NCC’s culinary program. “This externship gives our students an amazing opportunity to work side by side with some of the nation’s top chefs while they gain invaluable networking experiences that not many other culinary programs can offer.”

 Hospitality Students

For the hospitality competition, the areas tested were BEO Development, Table Setting, Pre-Service and Service Training. In each category, students had to perform tasks such as glassware, silverware and napkin placement and removal, water and wine pouring, and proper service style, all while maintaining a professional, confident and friendly demeanor. The competition was judged by Brianna Hull, hospitality assistant at ArtsQuest, and Adriana Norton, director of member services at Northampton Country Club, both alumni of the hospitality program.


David F. Schweiger, director of hospitality management at NCC, said, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the students to gain experience with one of the top restaurant companies in America. The hospitality management students will gain skills and knowledge that will allow them to compete in the national job market.”