Restrictions and safety protocols prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic have challenged Culinary Arts students and faculty for more than a year. Creativity and adaptability have been key ingredients for those studying and teaching this discipline to succeed during these difficult times.
Those attributes recently shined through again as a team of 11 students taught by Certified Executive Chef Brian Polcyn won a contest sponsored by The Butcher’s Guild, a fraternity of meat professionals focused on selling good meat.
Each month, this organization sponsors the Attabutcher Contest. Most competitions are geared toward butchers’ cuts for retail display. The February contest, however, centered on the French classic Chicken Galantine, a dish Schoolcraft College students prepare as part of the curriculum every rotation. The presentation included smoked tongue and pistachios.
Chicken Galantine is a French cold chicken preparation that uses the charcuterie (pronounced shar-coo-tree) technique. Charcuterie is the craft of how food, such as salami, ham, smoked sausage and more, were prepared and preserved before refrigeration. One of the core classes in Culinary Arts is Charcuterie (CUL 215), where students learn salting, curing, sausage production, smoke house, pate, terrine, galantine and more.
“As an Instructor it’s wonderful to go through the educational process, but the best is to see the excitement in the students when something actually works!” Chef Polcyn exclaimed.