Excellence of program showcased on morning segment
On Monday, October 18, Schoolcraft College student Austin Hannah distilled hundreds of hours of practice and preparation into about five minutes for viewers of FOX 2 Detroit.
Hannah and Certified Executive Chef Chris Misiak were featured in a news story about Hannah earning second place overall in the National Student Chef of the Year competition during the summer. He prepared and plated his seafood appetizer for the audience as Chef Misiak explained the dish and how the competition worked.
“I don’t know which one was more stressful – the camera or the chefs looking over my shoulder,” Hannah said. “It was fun and a good time. I enjoyed working with Chef Chris and I was definitely happy to be back in the kitchens of Schoolcraft College.”
For the national competition, Hannah had to prepare four portions each of an appetizer and an entrée in two hours using ingredients out of a “mystery basket.” Hannah competed in the Hot Foods division and placed first in that category.
The appetizer consisted of:
- Butter-poached lobster
- Butter-poached scallops
- Green leek puree as a base
- Pickled leeks
- Pancetta (a sort of cured bacon)
The entrée consisted of:
- Flat-iron steak covered in Ras el Hanout (a Middle Eastern spice)
- Eggplant puree
- Involtini-stuffed eggplant with persillade bread crumbles to provide a crisp texture
- Quinoa tabbouleh
- Cucumber salad with yogurt, garlic and dill
- Kafta meatball
- Apricot-lemon marmalade
The easy rapport between Hannah and Chef Misiak came through during the segment – and that’s no accident. Chef Misiak accompanied him to nationals, and along with Certified Master Chef Brian Beland and Certified Master Chef Shawn J. Loving, helped him prepare for the competition.
“That’s something Schoolcraft College offers – a very personal connection with the instructors, which I appreciate very much,” Hannah said.
Hannah, who works at the Detroit Athletic Club, has his sights set on being a Certified Sous Chef as the next step in his culinary career. He may compete again, but next time as a professional.
He’ll likely challenge himself with a new dish after acing the seafood appetizer.
“That dish is second nature to me, I know it so well,” he said. “It’s a piece of me now.”