GCC Student Takes First-Place in Chabaso Bakery’s Scholarship Contest

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gateway Community College (GCC) student Lauren Manuck has been cooking since she was a little girl. Whenever her mother was making dinner, Manuck would pull over a kitchen chair, scoot next to her mom and help. Those early lessons paid off December 10. Manuck's entry, a delicious Sun Dried Tomato Crostini, won her the $200 first prize in the GCC Dietetic Technology Program’s Chabaso Artisan Bread Recipe Contest sponsored by Chabaso Bakery.

The recipe featured a sun-dried tomato jam with goat cheese on a crostini made from Chabaso Bakery’s Ancient Grain Demi Ciabatta Bread.

“I am so happy,” Manuck said. “I did it because I love to cook and to bake.”

The challenge was to create a healthy recipe using one of the New Haven-based bakery’s new line of healthful whole-grain artisan breads. Pam Russell, Chabaso’s marketing manager, said the company chose to sponsor the event and provide $500 in prizes to build upon its relationship with Gateway, now that the college has moved downtown.

“Being involved in the community is a passion of our company’s. We thought this was a great way to engage students,” Russell said.

Marcia Doran, department chairperson of Allied Health, said Gateway was thrilled when Chabaso asked to sponsor the recipe contest. “It is such a wonderful opportunity for our students,” she said.

The contest was an optional assignment in the Field Experience II class. According to Doran and Elaine Lickteig, program coordinator and assistant professor of the Dietetic Technology Program, the students worked very hard, developing their recipes, determining the nutritional content, creating brochures and preparing the food for the contest. 

The panel of judges included Russell and Alisa Ardito of Chabaso, and GCC judges Mary Ellen Cody, dean of Development and Community Partnerships; Susan Swirsky, administrative assistant in the department of Development and Community Partnerships; Alice Pandolfi, administrative coordinator of Allied Health; and Marianne Lippard, clerk-typist in the Allied Health Department. The recipes were judged on taste, appearance and ease of preparation.

In addition to Manuck’s crostini, the judges sampled Paula Warncke and Jennifer Osborne’s butternut apple soup in a Chabaso Ancient Grain bread bowl; Kathryn Farrell’s Panzella salad; and Shaylene Haggerty and Sarah Luedee’s “veggie delight” sandwich, which featured hummus, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.  

Although only Manuck took first place, all of the participants received a prize - and some good news: each recipe soon will be featured on the Chabaso Bakery website. The students will be invited to a photo shoot as their recipes are prepared, and the general public will eventually be able to try the students' recipes in their own kitchens.

“I love the recipes on their website,” Farrell said. “To think our recipes will be there too, it’s great.”

“We will be able to say that we’re published!” Osborne added.