Yesterday, ICE student Sonali Ruder won the Chefs of Grey Poupon competition in Chicago and the grand prize of a $20,000 culinary scholarship. Sonali’s friends and teachers closely monitored the event from ICE, where we dined on mustard-friendly snacks like pigs in a blanket, pretzels and beer.
Sonali had been working on her mustard dish, Pan Roasted Lamb Loin with Celery Root, Apple and Dijon Puree, Mustard Greens, Grey Poupon Glazed Carrots, Pomegranate Jus and Black Truffle Mustard Mushroom Crisp, since she won a cook-off against two other ICE students back in March. ICE Chef Instructor James Briscione has been helping her to perfect the dish and he accompanied her to the competition.
During the competition, Sonali and her fellow competitors, students from the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales and Kendall College, had to prepare their mustard dishes as well as invent a new dish with ingredients from a mystery basket. The basket included: Miracle Whip, Kraft BBQ sauce, pumpernickel bread, Planters peanuts and black garlic. Sonali used them to make a crab cake with black garlic aioli.
Sonali thanks her parents for a passion for food. Her love of cooking stems from her childhood and her parent’s dedication to home-cooked meals. She said, “We’d all sit down together to a fabulous meal, which usually consisted of either traditional Indian fare or one of my parents’ unique creations.” It wasn’t until her residency training as an emergency medicine physician that she decided to follow her love of cooking to ICE. Now Sonali loves to put her skills to use and develop her own recipes and express her creativity through new dishes and creations. Three of Sonali’s recipes have even been selected as winners over at food52 and she has appeared on Food Network’s America’s Best Burger.
This is the second year in a row an ICE student has won the competition. We are all full of pride for this year’s victory. Congratulations to Sonali!