CCCC Natural Chef grad finals in national baking contest
PITTSBORO - Central Carolina Community College Natural Chef graduate Scott Goldsmith has created his own recipe for success - and a tasty one it is.
Goldsmith's recipe for gluten-free banana chocolate raisin bread has earned this retired attorney a spot as one of 36 finalists in the California Raisin Marketing Board's 5th Annual "America's Best Raisin Bread" competition.
"I am a culinary student competing against baking students," Goldsmith said of his success so far. "Having made it to the finals really validates my training and skill level."
"I am really proud of him," said CCCC Chef Regina Minter, the culinary instructor who encouraged Goldsmith to enter the competition. "He took the initiative to enter the contest and hopefully he'll win the whole thing."
Open only to baking professionals and student bakers, the competition requires contestants to create an original recipe using California Raisins and then submit that recipe along with color photographs of both the whole bread loaf and of cross sections of a cut loaf.
Goldsmith submitted his recipe for the best wholesale/commercial raisin bread category, one of three student categories that also include best artisan raisin bread and best breakfast item.
Special awards will be given in each category for whole-grain and gluten-free recipes.
About his own gluten-free recipe, Goldsmith said: "Many of the gluten-free breads on the market are mealy and not very tasty. By creating a banana chocolate raisin bread, I could create a soft and tasty bread with a lot of flavor."
Goldsmith will fly to the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., for a final bake-off on Oct. 11-13. Finalists will bake the breads on-site and the breads will be judged on appearance, originality, taste, and value. There will be 12 winners: nine professionals and three students.
In the meantime, Goldsmith reported that he is using his culinary skills for various volunteer projects: "Currently, I bake sugar-free desserts for Meals-on-Wheels and volunteer doing prep work for the cooking classes at A Southern Season" [a gourmet specialty store in Chapel Hill].
He said, "My volunteer work also includes assisting in the preparation of a cookbook to raise money for the CORA SNACK [Summer Nutritional Assistance for Chatham Kids] program." This program provides weekday meals during summer break for Chatham County school children who qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Goldsmith describes himself as "a retired attorney who has always enjoyed cooking and baking." The pastime led him to the CCCC Natural Chef program at the college's Chatham County Campus, which he "undertook to bring [his] cooking skills to a higher level."
Beginning as a non-credit student in summer 2011, Goldsmith officially enrolled in the Natural Chef program in fall 2011. He graduated with his certification in August.
The CCCC Natural Chef Certification program is a culinary arts continuing education program specializing in sustainability and nutrition. Its operations train students in many areas, including culinary skills, whole foods, sanitation, and customer service.
"The program has a terrific facility and experienced chefs," Goldsmith said. "The students in the program take it seriously and work quite hard, and the chefs expect you to work and produce. Getting through the program requires a commitment, but if you are willing to work at it, it is a rewarding experience."
For more information about Central Carolina Community College's Culinary Arts and Natural Chef programs, visit www.cccc.edu/curriculum/majors/culinaryarts.
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