Yesterday afternoon marked the tenth Annual Allagash Brewery Contest at ICE. For the past 10 years, Allagash Brewing Company has partnered with ICE to offer student scholarships for the best student recipe using Allagash beer. This year ICE students were challenged to create a dish using an Allagash Interlude — a beer made from wild yeast and aged in wine barrels. The recipes also had to fit in the theme of barbecue.
Three ICE students were selected as finalists from the dozens of entries and got the chance to prepare their recipes for the judges. Culinary Arts student Travis Henningfield prepared Pear and Pork Belly Kushiyaki with Interlude and Miso-Glazed Onigiri, Cucumber, Daikon Salad and Pear Chips. Skye Whitman made Grilled Duck Breast with Dried Plum & Interlude BBQ sauce with Allagash-Buttermilk Cornbread and Orange-Jicama Slaw. The third competitor, Davina Thomasula made Interlude BBQ Glazed Pork Chops and Drunken Cheddar Grits with Apple Jicama Slaw.
After working hard on their dishes all afternoon, the students served their plates to the judges — ICE Creative Director Michael Laiskonis, Director of Education Richard Simpson, ICE Instructor and Civilization of Beer Founder Sam Merritt, Chef Kenny Callaghan of Blue Smoke, and ICE alum James Simpkins who has worked for Allagash. The judges tasted each dish and gave each a score. In the end, Travis Henningfield was awarded first place for her Japanese-style barbecue dish.
In previous years, the winner has taken home a $1,000 scholarship for his or her culinary education, but to mark the tenth anniversary the prize for first place was increased to $2,000 while the second place winner took home $1,000 and the third place winner took home $500.
In addition to the competition, ICE Chef Instructor James Briscione also prepared a barbecue feast of Crispy Pork Belly with Grits and Roasted Tomato-Molasses Vinaigrette paired with Allagash White, Lamb Shoulder with Mustard Greens and Cheddar Biscuits paired with Allagash Interlude, and Char Siu of Flat Iron Beef with Spicy Squash Stir Fry and Crispy Rice paired with Allagash Black. It was truly a feast that marked a wonderful anniversary for both ICE and Allagash.
Congratulations to all the contestants!