James Daversa, a Monroe College graduate from the School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts, is the winner of the 2014 prestigious Institut Paul Bocuse full-tuition scholarship for the exclusive culinary program in honor of Daniel Boulud. Chef Daversa, a former C-cap (Careers through Culinary Arts Programs) scholar from Virginia, was chosen to compete in a cook-off against another C-cap alumnus at Restaurant Daniel on April 1 and 2.
“Out of C-CAP’s 3,500 eligible alums, we are thrilled to honor James as one of our two candidates for this opportunity! With his strong education from Monroe College, extensive experience in ACF competitions and his work history, I know he’s going to be a strong contender,” said Ms. Meghan Seradsky, National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator for the C-cap.
The scholarship is valued at $15,000 and includes a five week enrollment in the Bocuse program. Chef Daversa was notified two weeks ago and called his former coaches at Monroe to assist him in preparing for the competition, which was developed by Chef Boulud himself, who asked to see “real cooking, no nouvelle cuisine and no sous vide, but rather something that meant something great to the competitor and also tasted fantastic.”
Chef Daversa was coached by his school dean, Dr. Frank C. Costantino CEC CCE AAC, and Chef Eric Pellizzari CEC CCE, both of whom helped him to reflect back on his training at Monroe, his competition experience as a former Monroe Culinary team member, and his travels to Italy as part of the school’s Study Abroad program. He worked with his coaches to cook through some concepts and came up with the final dish, aptly called “Chicken and Vegetables,” which featured a braised chicken thigh with a rich reduction sauce with ham, cognac and wild mushrooms, paired in a duo with an herb-roasted Chicken Breast cooked Poêlè, garnished with roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots and a potato purée flavored with caramelized onions and crème fraiche.
Chef Daversa, a sous chef at Lure Fish Bar in Miami competed against Gabrielle Calle, a CIA graduate and junior sous chef at BLT fish in New York City.