Navigation

CNM Culinary Students Sweep Chocolate Competition

Students from the CNM Culinary Arts program showed their passion for confections when they took the top three awards in the student category at the 19th annual Chocolate Fantasy Competition on March 5.

Aug 30, 2016

Chocolate Seregneti
Students from the CNM Culinary Arts program showed their passion for confections when they took the top three awards in the student category at the 19th annual Chocolate Fantasy Competition on March 5.

The theme of this year's competition was "Pride of the Serengeti" and was presented by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation.

Nakhestcia "Chess" Franklin took first place in the student competition with her chocolate sculpture entitled "Beauty of Life." The piece is constructed of two giraffes, a mother and a daughter according to Franklin, with an elaborate handmade base. While some students competed in teams, Franklin competed alone. This was her first time competing.

"I spent hours upon hours working on this showpiece and devoted all the time that I had between school and sleep," Franklin said in an e-mail. "I sacrificed time with my husband and my daughter. When I won it was all worth it."

Michael Baker and Charity Teague took second place in the student category and Kendra Hein and Marissa Medina took third.

All of the student competitors have taken the Advanced Baking Lab class at CNM with Executive Chef Kerry Knoop.

Knoop said that in order to compete, students had to create not only their chocolate sculpture, but also 300 individual pastries to serve during the Chocolate Fantasy showcase. She said each student competitor or team had a sponsor that helped to fund supplies.

She said students worked for two months to prepare for the competition by researching the Serengeti to find inspiration, mapping out the details of their pieces and creating their chocolate art. Students came in on weekends to work in the culinary arts labs.