WARWICK, R.I.– The East Providence High School Career and Technical Center won the 2023 Rhode Island High School Seafood Cook-off for their lemon steamed summer flounder with Brussels sprout and apple slaw, sweet potato purée, blistered tomato, and aji amarillo sauce.
Their winning recipe will be featured at Hemenway’s Restaurant in Providence between June 12-18, courtesy of the Newport Restaurant Group.
Judging was difficult as five high school culinary teams prepared unique variations of locally caught summer flounder. Students representing culinary training programs from Davies, East Providence, Warwick, Westerly, and Woonsocket were able to showcase their skills to the enjoyment of community participants who voted for their favorite dish.
The recipes represented diverse cultures, and, as one of the competition’s hosts noted, “It was a nice challenge for the students to do something different that hasn’t been seen before.”
“We talk about culture, flavor profiles, and what works well,” said Eva Niosi, culinary instructor at the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, which hosted this year’s competition. “So, these kinds of events benefit all of the kids whether they win or lose; just the development of the recipe, working as a team, [and] coordinating logistics for prepping food and timing delivery.”
“We didn’t win, but we love it,” she added.
Each recipe presented flavors and techniques of different cultures ranging from Mediterranean and Spanish to Asian.
“Being from Lebanon, I thought maybe we could do a Mediterranean flair to our food,” says Chef Paul Jalaf, culinary arts instructor at Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center, whose group incorporated a phyllo dough-encased flounder accompanied by a dill-cucumber tahini sauce and slaw with a savory lemon and dill whipped cream. He added that this kind of event is not only a chance to experiment with recipes but also an opportunity to see what other culinary groups are doing.
“It’s nice for [my students] to see how the other kids are working and collaborate because you don’t get to do that often … I tell my students that we are here to have fun and meet everyone.”
Lemon steamed summer flounder with a brussel sprout and apple slaw, sweet potato puree, blistered tomato and aji amarillo sauce: 2023 winning recipe by the East Providence High School Career and Technical Center.
Recipes from the winning team from the East Providence High School Career and Technical Center as well as the other teams from William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School, the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, the Westerly High School Career and Technical Program, and the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center may be found on our Rhode Island Seafood Cook-Off webpage
Thank you to the host Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, and to the other event sponsors: Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Cooperative Extension Food Safety Education Program in the URI Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, the Newport Restaurant Group, the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute.