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Published February 27, 2012, 05:15 PM

Chefs Show Off Their Culinary Skills in Grand Forks Competition

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Chefs from around the region are showing off their cooking skills in a "Culinary Challenge" at the Alerus Center.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Chefs from around the region are showing off their cooking skills in a "Culinary Challenge" at the Alerus Center.

One chef from UND hopes to learn and grow from the experience as he competes for the first time.

UND chef Ed Martin is competing against five other college chefs from the region, preparing flounder with their own twists. They hope to move on to the national conference in Boston this summer.

Slicing, dicing and sizzling, a competition heats up as six competitors show off their recipes for flounder.

"I'm making a korean barbeque flounder with firecracker green beans and seasoned rice cakes," Martin said.

Kitchen Manager for the Old Main Marketplace at UND, Ed Martin is competing for the first time. The cook has spent a lot of time getting ready for this day.

"Just the mental preparation, getting ready, getting yourself organized and getting ready for the actual competition," Martin said.

Each chef has one hour to cook their meals and 10 minutes to plate them for the judges. Cooks are paying attention to all the details.

"Hot food hot, cold food cold, proper seasoning, proper cooking techniques. If you write on your menu that your going to sautee something it needs to be sauteed," Lead judge Shawn Hanlin said.

"It's very technical on your techniques and your classical cuts they all have to be right and your recipe of course has to taste and look good," Event Chair Greg Gefroh said.

The judges observe the chefs preparing, cooking and plating their meals. Then it's all about the taste test. Although not everyone will win a medal, there are many reasons chef want to be a part of this competition.

"If you compete, you improve yourself as a culinarian, your organization, how you work in the kitchen, how you carry yourself just gets better every time you do it," Hanlin said.

"I think I can do it, otherwise I wouldn't be here," Martin said.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Empire Arts Center Monday at 8 p.m.

They're competing for the title of master chef for the National Association of College and University Food Services continental region.

The winner will compete at the national conference in Boston.