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From Seafood to Sugar Sculptures, Awards Taken Home by Amanda Van Scoy
Just a year ago, Amanda Van Scoy was an ordinary student at Scott County Community College Culinary Academy. Now, just a few months after accepting a position with Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf, specifically at the banquet facilities, Calypso's and Farraddays, Amanda has won statewide acclaim for her estimable skills in the kitchen.
On May 4, 2014, Amanda took part in the 5th Annual Culinary Classic at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa. This event draws leading chefs from across the state, as they each compete in up to eight food preparation categories, including soup, salad, seafood, beef, pork, duck, dessert, and student. In addition, cooks who regularly utilize local ingredients in their work are eligible to participate in a ninth bracket, local food.
This year’s Culinary Classic totaled 32 entries, and the winners split $11,000 in prize money donated by sponsors. Proceeds from this contest are given to Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere (GIVE). The not-for-profit organization sets out to provide a structured golf program for injured Iowa veterans. The four phases of training aim to enrich the mental, social, physical and emotion well-being of injured veterans, as well as improve their quality of life.
Chefs are required to prepare a minimum of four distinct dishes to serve 20 judges and 400 attendees. The judges, who are a combination of talented food industry professionals from around the state, choose the Gold medal winners. These are later whittled down to the best of show.
Her knack for creating sugar sculptures has also earned her acclaim. In January, Amanda created a sugar sculpture called "Cirque du Soleil" into the second annual Winterfest Food Competition at Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf. The colorful and elegant sculpture featured ribbons and flowers, and Amanda walked away with a bronze for the Centerpiece category. Making the sculpture even more impressive was the fact Amanda taught herself how to make these sculptures based off a series of instructional web videos.
Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf is proud to have a winning team of chefs. Congratulations, Amanda, Carina and Michael!