RCA Conference 2018 Wrap Up


Student Competition Review

By: Chris McAdams

Thursday, March 29th marked the end of the 2018 Research Chefs Association Conference held in beautiful Savannah, GA.

While we hate to say goodbye, it marked the end of another wonderful week of learning and interacting with our peers. A chance to come together and strengthen the bond the makes our community so strong and unique. And, perhaps most importantly, a chance to see the Culinology students, who represent the future of this great industry, in action.


This years Student Competition required the participants develop a frozen retail, single serving, microwaveable meal based on the cuisine of Southern Georgia in a “Mom and Pop” style. While this was a difficult task, our student competitors came at it with thoughtful execution, creativity, and unbridled enthusiasm.

Here’s how it worked out:


1st Place // Flipp’in Biscuits

Culinary Competition

SMSU_Team Peachy Keen

Southwest Minnesota State University

Team: Peachy Keen
•  Megan Forster
•  Dean Zinda
•  Clarissa Geisel
•  Alexandra Froman
•  Dr. Xiao Zhenlei (Advisor)


2nd Place // Shrimp Frits ‘n’ Grits

Shrimp Fritter

Team Ori Georgia

Southwest Minnesota State University

Team: Original Georgia
•  Madison Merritt
•  Keaton Crowley
•  Jose Pedroza
•  Gabrielle Tellijohn
•  Dr. Xiao Zhenlei (Advisor)


3rd Place // Georgia-style Pork & Grits

Pork n GritsTeam UofM Sci & Nutrition Club


University of Minnesota

Team: Food Science & Nutrition Club
•  Carmen Owen-Block
•  Sophie Held
•  Daniel Vlodaver
•  Ellie Lu
•  Dr. Tonya Schoenfuss (Advisor)


Finalist  // Artillery Punch Chicken & Three

Chickent & Three Guelph 1

University of Guelph, Canada

Team: Gryphons
•  Alison Marczenko
•  Chloe van Acker
•  Colin Jones
•  Rachel White
•  Dr. Lisa Duizer (Advisor)


Finalist  // Chicken Pot Pie

Pot Pie Dom 1

Dominican University

Team: Georgia Wild
•  Morganne Schmidt
•  Joseph Oh
•  Raitwain Couch
•  Caren Messina-Hirsch (Advisor)


On behalf of the entire RCA we would like to congratulate all the participants. The level of ingenuity and complexity in these dishes was impressive and the execution was truly great.

To learn more about the Student Competitions, follow this link. For photographs check out the Flickr album, or search #RCAScholars or #RCA2018 on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s