For the second year culinary and pastry arts students were awarded scholarships as part of the George Macht Scholarship Challenge held at College of DuPage’s Culinary and Hospitality Center.
The event, comprised of pastry and culinary challenges, provides students in Culinary, Baking and Pastry Arts programs with the opportunity to compete for scholarships.
As the Hospitality Administration program coordinator and professor, George Macht inspired countless students both as an educator and as a chef. Macht is known for his leadership and the instrumental role he played in building COD’s Culinary and Hospitality program. Upon retiring in 2008, Macht created an endowment under his name at the College of DuPage Foundation to support scholarships for students majoring in Culinary or Hospitality programs.
The scholarships awarded to students who competed in the challenges will help cover tuition, fees, books and supplies.
For students passionate about food and hospitality, the College offers an Associate in Applied Science degree and a certificate in both Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts. Classes are taught in a state-of-the-art kitchen and facilities in the 65,000 square-foot Culinary and Hospitality Center, including the George Macht Skills Kitchen.
To prepare for each competition, students studied and practiced recipes for each of the items that they presented to a panel of judges. Before competing, students were also able to watch a faculty member demonstrate how to prepare each recipe.
Students were encouraged to practice ahead of the event, ask their instructors questions, and even cook and ask for feedback from their friends and family. The scholarship challenges were open to first-year Baking and Culinary students with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
During the competitions, judges observed each student working at their stations and evaluated their cooking skills.
In addition to helping students practice their skills, Macht said the competitions are also good preparation for when students transition to the workforce, where they are often asked to prepare food as part of an interview for culinary and baking positions.
He emphasized that there are many career opportunities in all segments of the hospitality industry, and noted the industry is in dire need of qualified staff and employees in many areas.