Cranston Area Career & Technical Center culinary students win calamari cook-off crown

Calamari Bruschetta

Cranston Area Career & Technical Center’s winning Grilled Balsamic Calamari Bruschetta

RICHMOND, R.I.—Four high school culinary teams competed last week in the 2015 Rhode Island Seafood Cook-off featuring calamari, the state’s official appetizer.

The teams each devised their own recipe for calamari, and an audience of the students’ family, friends, and community members tasted each one (without knowing which school’s entry it was) and scored the dishes based on flavor, creativity, and marketability.

The Chariho Area Career & Technical Center hosted the event, and presented the audience with a Greek calamari with couscous and Mediterranean vegetables, the Warwick Area Career & Technical Center served a squid jambalaya, and William M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School prepared calamari in a spicy marinara sauce with a garlic crouton. The winning team from the Cranston Area Career & Technical Center dished up a grilled balsamic calamari bruschetta, which will be featured at the Mariner Grille at 142 Point Judith Road in Narragansett this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (May 15, 16, and 17). It will also be featured at Trafford Restaurant at 285 Water Street in Warren.

The winning team members from the Cranston Career & Technical Center were Josh Sharron and Elvis Sena, both seniors, and their mentor, Chef Martha Sylvestre. The students received cookbooks donated by Rhode Island Sea Grant and a gift certificate for lunch with their chef, who also received a set of steak knives, both donated by the Capital Grille.

Calamari for the event (and the preliminary rounds leading up to it) was donated by The Town Dock, Narragansett. Town Dock is the largest supplier of calamari in the U.S.

If you can’t make it out to either of those restaurants, you may also try preparing any of the recipes at home—you may download them from this link: calamari_recipe_booklet_2015.

Sponsors of the 2015 Rhode Island Seafood Cook-off are the Chariho Area Career & Technical Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the URI Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.