November 22, 2000

Grossmont College Students Bring Home Medals From Culinary Olympics

El Cajon — Three Grossmont College students and two instructors in the college's ROP Culinary Arts program brought home Olympic medals - not from Australia, but from Erfurt, Germany, the site of the culinary Olympics, which every four years brings together the best in the world of food.

The "Chocolate Lady," presented by the award winning culinary students of Grossmont College.

Students Mark Walker, Eddie Chiw and Jerry Flor and instructors Joe Orate and Mial Parker were part of the 10-member California team, which earned a gold, silver and bronze medal for its three entries. The students served as apprentices to the team and because their efforts, earned a share of the medals given out during the Oct. 22-25 competition. Their team was one of two regional teams representing the United States. In all, there were 48 countries represented.

"We take pride in our Culinary Arts program and because of innovative teaching and the quality of the instructors, it is getting the recognition it's due," said President Ted Martinez, Jr. "The Culinary is a great way to bring exposure to the program an for the students, it is a terrific learning experience."

Orate, the coordinator of the program, has been involved in numerous competitions and was a gold medalist on the California team in the 1996 Olympics. Parker was on Team USA West in 1988 and 1992 and was a gold medalist in both competitions.

"The Culinary Olympics is a stage where chefs set the trends for the next four years," Orate said. "The food was very innovative and trendsetting. With California being such a melting pot, it was a chance for us to showcase many infusions of food: southwestern cooking, Asian foods and also, coastal foods with lots of seafood."

Grossmont College offers a two-year degree in Culinary Arts, in addition to having a certificate program. Applications are now being accepted for spring semester Culinary Arts ROP courses. For more information, call the ROP office at (619) 644-7550.

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