Four Texas Culinary Academy Students Win NHB Recipe Showdown


Firestone CO — Sixty-six highly motivated young culinarians submitted recipes for the first National Honey Board culinary student competition held at the Texas Culinary Academy (TCA). A Le Cordon Bleu affiliate located in Austin, TCA hosted the Honey Board's final student recipe competition for 2009 with Wild West flair. A "Wanted: Honey Recipes" poster issued the challenge to win four scholarship prizes totaling $5000.

Judging from the TCA competition results, talent starts early in Texas. Remarkably, three of the four finalists are just finishing their first semester of the TCA program. Impressed by the inventive honey applications in each dish, the judges—TCA alumni Robert Bella, Jacob Weaver, and Alicia Torres, and a National Honey Board representative—took extra time to deliberate before announcing the winners.

1st Place ($2,000)—Nathan Gudger
Honey-Ginger Chevre Cheesecake with Comb Honey, Honey-Rum Poached Figs Honey Candied Pistachios, Honey Tuile and Honey-Orange Sauce.

2nd Place ($1,500)—Cesar Murillo
Honey-Glazed Tilapia Bites with Sweet Tropical Pico de Gallo and Honey Chipotle Sauce.

3rd Place ($1,000)—William Pharis
Orange Honey-Glazed Seared Duck Breast with Parsnip Puree and Red Radish Micro Greens

Honorable Mention for Most Unique Honey Usage ($500)—Keith Paugh
Honey Panna Cotta With Green Tea, Mint and Honey "Caviar," Honey Almond Tuile and Honey Mint Sauce
Competition rules required the students to complete four servings of a recipe for any menu segment—with each portion containing a minimum of 1 Tablespoon of honey—within three hours. Student recipes were evaluated equally on presentation, taste (honey identity), execution and technique, with four students chosen to prepare their dishes for the final "showdown."

With the objective of developing awareness of and appreciation for honey's culinary value and menu benefits in the next generation of chefs, the Texas Culinary Academy competition is the Honey Board's final culinary scholarship event planned for 2009. For more information about the Honey Board culinary competitions, contact Catherine Perez at [email protected]. To learn more about the Honey Board's culinary education programs, visit

Name: Catherine Perez

Phone: (303)776-2337

Email: [email protected]