LWIT Culinary Arts Team Gold Medal Winners (L-R) Meg Venema, Sarah Ridges, Rich Hill, Randall Poole and Crystal Medwar.
LWIT Culinary Arts Team Gold Medal Winners (L-R) Meg Venema, Sarah Ridges, Rich Hill, Randall Poole and Crystal Medwar.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) culinary arts students won the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Western Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl in Reno, Nevada last week. The team competed against five other schools in three states to claim the gold in the Jeopardy-style competition that tested fundamental cooking skills and culinary knowledge. The LWIT team will represent the entire western region of the ACF in the national competition in Florida this July.

“Our exceptional team of devoted students spent countless hours studying and preparing for this competition. They are absolutely thrilled to have won gold medals, and Chef Shaffer and I are very proud to have guided them in the process,” said LWIT Culinary Program Coordinator and Team Coach Matthew DiMeo. “Watching them compete in this tough competition was a very special moment. We’re grateful to the Lake Washington Foundation for their support and are eagerly anticipating the national competition in Orlando.”

The five-student team included Rich Hill, Randall Poole, Meg Venema, Sarah Ridges and Crystal Medwar. LWIT culinary arts faculty chefs Janet Shaffer and Matt DiMeo were the team coaches. LWIT has competed in the knowledge bowl before, but this is the first year the team has received a medal.

The Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl competition is open to student teams from ACF chapters, apprenticeship programs and accredited schools. Each team has four players and one alternate.

LWIT offers an Associate of Applied Science and a Certificate of Proficiency in Culinary Arts. Students in the Culinary Arts program receive valuable knowledge and a wide range of hands-on experience to prepare them for employment as commercial cooks and chefs as well as prepare them to meet certification from the ACF as Certified Culinarians.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) is a broad-based polytechnic college offering instruction in 36 areas of instruction toward a spectrum of more than 100 bachelor and associate level degrees and certificates designed to give students the latest cutting edge skills relevant to today’s workplace. Founded in 1949, LWIT offers hands-on, real-world training in manufacturing, transportation, energy, business, allied health, computer and information systems, food and hospitality, and health and fitness. For information and news about LWIT programs, please visit lwtech.edu/press_room.

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