The Daily Gamecock

Chefs serve up scholarship funds

Students and chefs from around the Midlands put their cooking skills to work in the annual “Chefs on the Shoe,” which is dedicated in memory of late professor Jules Pernell. Pernell was the executive chef and culinary instructor at the McCutcheon House, where students in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management learn to cook, serve and manage a working restaurant. He died in 2011 after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. The proceeds from the event will go toward a memorial scholarship fund in his honor.

The Horseshoe was decked out in tents for crafts, cooking and tables for family and friends to enjoy their meals together. Annette Hoover, professor of the Hotel and Tourism Event class said that the event was a great way to give back, and that preparation for the event began three months in advance.

The event also provided many opportunities for student volunteers. Avnika Amin, a fourth-year engineering student volunteered to help with face painting.

“I’m president of Cocky’s Culinary Club on campus, and I volunteered because I wanted the experience,” Amin said. “I also wanted to observe the new ideas and flavors for my members to try out at events.”

Among the professional chefs who catered to the participating tasters’ needs, some students participated in the action with their own recipes. Others acted as chef assistants to observe the pros, taking notes for their own careers later on in the future.

“I know most of the students are involved with HRTM, so it gives them experience for when they start looking for jobs,” Amin said.

Gregory Davis, executive chef of the Columbia Marriott, was the recipient of last year’s Chefs on the Shoe award. Davis served up barbecue ribs with a smile, saying he was honored to be a part of the event another year.

“This is in support of a great cause,” Davis said. “I’m excited for not only that, but hopefully to take home the honor again this year.”

The lineup of foods was a diverse mixture of Southern comfort foods and eats from high-quality restaurants you can’t easily put together in your backyard.

Some of the cuisine included veggie rolls, smoked beef brisket and chicken and sausage Andouille gumbo. The majority of students favored a tomato pie dish they dubbed memorable.

Chefs that receive the most votes on their dishes will win various awards provided by sponsors and contributors of the event. Organized by students of Hoover’s class, the annual event is made possible by the sponsors and donors of the event.

“Lots of food and fun will be had today,” Davis said.