Competitors from the corners of the Northeastern region of Chaîne descended upon the Albany area on March 16th, 2019 as Vice Conseiller Culinaire Provincial Yono Purnamo graciously hosted the area’s Chaîne Young Chef Competition for the umpteenth time. Boston, Buffalo, Albany, and Saratoga Springs were represented.

The Purnamo’s were the ultimate hosts as always, arranging an exquisitely tasty dinner for Chaîne members in attendance the night of the competition. Several Bailli’s and regional officers attended including new bailli of Portland, Maine – Will Beriau, Albany Bailli Bill Harris, Buffalo Bailli Helen Cappuccino, CT Bailli Ginnie Kagan, Echanson Provincial Andy Cappuccino and BP NE Mont Stern gathered for an unofficial assemblage with several guests.

This year’s competitors included:

  • Tyikea McClean- SUNY Schenectady
  • Carly Yezzo- SUNY Delhi
  • Gianna Aquino- Culinary Institute at Monroe College
  • Thomas Desiderio-SUNY Erie
  • Luis Alvrado
  • Monica Thie
    One contestant withdrew during the competition due to illness.

A challenging mystery basket comprised of a whole tilefish, salsify, wheat berries, golden berries, artichokes, duck, and scallops greeted the six savory competitors. Vice Conseiller Culinaire et des Professionnels des Etats-Unis Michael Ty, Conseiller Culinaire Provincial Yono Purnamo, Portland Bailli Will Bariau, Chefs Rotisseurs Kaime Ortiz (677 Prime) and AJ Richards (Forged) judged the finished dishes and the young chefs’ work. Not only were the contestants judged on the finished meal in terms of taste, presentation and originality, but kitchen judges also observed them the entire time for technique, organizational skills, professionalism, cleanliness, and creative use of the products. SCCC Chef Instructors Dr. David Brough and Michael Niccoli served as kitchen judges while Chef Mike Stamets, CCE served as Auditor.

The contestants remained professional and cool under the stress of competition as family and friends looked on through viewing windows. Amidst intensely close competition, Carly Yezzo prevailed to move to the next round at Nationals.

A light lunch and champagne reception made the ribbon and certificate-awarding ceremony all the more festive for all those in attendance.