LRCC Culinary Student Awarded People’s Choice Award at Iron Chef Competition
It was a night to celebrate as Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) Culinary student Mitchell Testa helped LRCC secure the People’s Choice Award at this year’s 5th Annual Iron Chef Competition, held at Tad’s Place at Heritage Heights Senior Living Center in Concord. Testa, of Barrington, NH, competed against experienced executive chefs Dan St. Jean from the Common Man Family of Restaurants, and Jon Tuttle from Havenwood Heritage Heights. This year’s theme was Pimavera, and Testa created a pan-seared filet of salmon with artichoke fondue and spring vegetable couscous topped with a morel mushroom duxcelles.
“It was great to see Mitchell holding his own against two very well-known and respected chefs”, said Pat Hall, Department Chair of the Culinary Arts program at LRCC. “The banter and mentorship was fantastic, and the mix of the three chefs were definitely entertaining”. He added, “the audience was entertained, and this whole event supported a great cause.” Testa is a senior in the Culinary Arts program, and will be graduating May 18. In fact, the competition was so successful for Testa, he landed a job with the Common Man Family of Restaurants as a result. “After the event, Chef Dan reached out to me and offered me a job,” said Testa. “I’ll be training and working in the Common Man’s Windham location as a sous chef and will also travel to other Common Man locations when needed.” Testa started his new job several weeks ago, and is loving it.
The Iron Chef competition is a fundraiser created by Heritage Heights Senior Living Center. All proceeds from the event benefit Good Life programs and activities. This year’s competition was emceed by Joe Kasper of Northeast Delta Dental, current Chairman of the Board for the Concord Chamber of Commerce and former Chairman of the Board at GoodLife. Judges included Jay Smith, Executive Chef of Copper Door, Chef Chris Normandeau of Granite Ledges of Concord (winner of the People’s Choice Award in 2018), and Jim Bouley Mayor of Concord.
Photo Caption: LRCC Culinary Arts student Mitchell Testa (far right) poses with executive chefs Dan St. Jean (left) from the Common Man Family of Restaurants, and John Tuttle (center) from Havenwood Heritage Heights. Testa, who will graduate from Lakes Region Community College’s Culinary Arts program this Saturday, was awarded the People’s Choice Award for his dish in the Good Life 2019 Iron Chef Competition.
Lakes Region Community College is located in Laconia and offers more than 40 educational programs, as well as workforce training for business and industry. This year the college introduced a newly revised Hotel & Restaurant Operations program. Additionally, they also offer their signature Culinary Arts program, as well as a Pastry Arts program. They work closely with industry partners throughout New Hampshire to provide students trained in the latest techniques and methods. LRCC provides housing options for students and has transfer agreements with many four-year colleges. Lakes Region Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire.