ECPI University Press Releases: Community Involvement

“Par for the Course” Culinary Cook-Off to Help Support Norfolk Tourism

Winning Dishes and Scholarships to be Served at NTRF Annual Golf Tournament

Norfolk, VA - In support of Norfolk tourism, thirty five students at ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) will match culinary skills to see who can create the best dishes to be served at Norfolk Tourism Research Foundation's (NTRF) upcoming 9th annual golf tournament.

The "Par for the Course" luncheon cook-off is being held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 at the CIV Campus, located at 2428 Almeda Avenue in Norfolk. Student teams will split into four different kitchens to prepare their dishes which will be sampled by local hospitality and tourism professionals. Guests, who are also judges, will go from kitchen to kitchen meeting the student competitors, sampling each dish and casting votes for their favorites. A broad range of original culinary creations will be prepared, from traditional empanadas to unique seafood-filled popovers.

Culinary creations from the top three student teams will be served at the NTRF golf tournament banquet being held on Friday, Oct. 26 at Ocean View Golf Course in Norfolk. NTRF will award $2,000 in scholarships to the top three student teams during the awards ceremony that follows the banquet.

Proceeds from the cook-off and golf tournament benefit the foundation, whose mission is to gather research to promote tourism in the City. CIV has been partnering with the NTRF for several years.

"NTRF's work ensures the city has useful and relevant data regarding tourism investment," says Andy Gladstein, Provost at CIV. "CIV supports the NTRF and a strong tourism industry, which helps promote a growing and exceptional dining environment throughout the City."

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Twist on Native Cuisine Yields Local Recipe
for Grilled Corn Fish Wraps

As sponsor and participant in the 2012 OpSail Virginia Fleet Chef Challenge, Culinary Institute of Virginia's chef/instructor Greg Burroughs was inspired by a dish from Ecuador. He has since created his own twist on the country's native leaf-wrap.

Using fresh local corn, Burroughs incorporates not only the leaves, but the husk as well. Splitting the leaves and husk from tip to about one-half inch above the base, he gently cuts into the cob, twists the knife and breaks the cob in half for easy removal from the husk. He then fills the husk and leaves with fresh local fish - from tuna or mahi filets to whole croaker or spot - complemented with lemon, salt, pepper and seasonings of choice. He then wraps the fish-filled husk and leaves in tin foil and lets the grill do the rest, yielding a rich tasty summer treat. The remainder of the corn cob can be mixed in a vegetable medley or served Mexican street vendor style with Cotija cheese as detailed in the recipe below.

"Native cultures have been using banana and other indigenous leaves for wrapping fish and other foods for centuries, and it's great here too," says Burroughs, who has worked at ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) in Norfolk for five years and has more than 30 years experience in the industry. "If using whole croaker or spot, you can simply hold the tail and pull the bones right out of the whole fish, fresh off the grill. Tuna or mahi filets makes the meal even easier and equally delicious. You can choose a range of ingredients to taste, and as corn, vegetables and other local seafood go into prime season, the combinations are almost endless."

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Vets Serving Vets

Student Vets at Culinary School to Treat Wounded Warriors to Special Meal

Norfolk, VA - "Service is what the military is about," says retired U.S. Air Force Major Wade O'Neill and chef instructor at ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) in Norfolk. "And it's literally going to be vets serving vets when we welcome wounded warriors from the VA Medical Center in Hampton for a very special meal."

CIV student veterans, staff and members of the general student body will prepare, serve and share fellowship with 30 veterans from the hospital at the school's "Dining for Veterans" day on February 22. O'Neill in January helped establish a Student Veterans of America Chapter at CIV. This will be the inaugural event.

"We have many veterans here at CIV and the military medical community has found that the best group rehabilitation practices are activities of veterans with other veterans," O'Neill says. "They relate more easily with one another and that helps move the healing process forward."

Lunch will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the CIV campus at 2428 Almeda Ave. in Norfolk. The media is invited to attend.

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