On Saturday, November 18, 2023, the Hospitality Department at the SUNY Broome Culinary & Event Center hosted the inaugural Hornet Classic, Floral Competition, and Open House—a spectacular event that brought together culinary enthusiasts and professionals. The Hornet Classic, an American Culinary Federation sanctioned competition, saw participation from students hailing from SUNY Broome, Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, SUNY Delhi, and the Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College. Accompanying them were professionals from renowned establishments like 677 Prime and Flix, creating a diverse and competitive atmosphere with a total of 29 participants across various categories.

Under the guidance of Culinary Instructor Victoria Tompkins, CEC, four SUNY Broome students showcased their culinary talents in the competition. With just one hour to prepare either an entrée or dessert, these students delivered exceptional performances, each earning a well-deserved ACF medal. The outstanding results were as follows: Jewlia Ralston, Gold Medal; Alexandra Naylor, Gold Medal; Emani Douglas, Gold Medal; and Clinton Ortell, Bronze Medal.

In parallel, students from the Floral Design class demonstrated their creativity with stunning centerpieces and table designs. Attendees, including competitors and open house guests, had the chance to appreciate the students’ craftsmanship. The centerpieces and table designs were even subject to a people’s choice vote, with Peyton Dibble earning the well-deserved recognition.

The Culinary & Event Center was brimming with hospitality, providing a warm and welcoming environment for the open house. Prospective students seized the opportunity to engage with current students and faculty, as well as representatives from admissions, learning assistance, and advising departments. Over 15 potential hospitality students explored the facility, gaining first hand insights into the world of hospitality and witnessing the intensity of the ongoing culinary competition.

The event proved to be a delightful and informative occasion, where passion for hospitality took center stage, fostering connections and inspiring the next generation of hospitality talents.

Submitted by: Michael J. Stamets, Associate Dean of Hospitality and Culinary Event Center (CEC)

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