Student Throwdown! Culinary Clash hits Luce this Sunday

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Connie Perez-Wong
Clash of the Culinary Titans, the finalists: Jessica Lee (CCA), Brennan Price (CCA), Juliet Fine (Ai), and Maree Garcia (Ai).
May the best student-chef bag fame and (scholarship) fortune! That's the premise of an upcoming Culinary Clash happening this weekend at the Michelin-starred Luce at the Intercontinental SF. Local culinary students The Art Institute of California - San Francisco (Ai), and the California Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu (CCA) will compete for a top prize in a series of Sunday dinners in collaboration with Chef Daniel Corey. Sunday's dinner is the creation of Maree Garcia, an Ai student: pan seared scallops with broccoli puree and vegetable salad; braised pork shoulder with chilies, poached egg and crispy Brussels sprouts; and a sweet ending of pear sorbet with lemon tuile.

See also: NBC TV Casting: Home Cooks, Step Up (And Tighten Your Apron Strings!)

Culinary Clashers will be judged by both paying guests and a team of food media judges, including this food writer. While I vow to not favor CCA, my alma mater, I do loathe mint as a dessert garnish (hint, hint). The way the Culinary Clash works is a sit down three course prix fixe dinner is available at Luce from 5:30 to 8:30pm for a not-too-steep price of $40. Pony up an extra $20 and enjoy wine pairings from the kind folks at the
Wine Road.

Culinary Clash is a collaboration with Chef Daniel Corey's Luce kitchen team and the
students and Chef Corey will be judging them accordingly. Guests who dine in the three-hour time frame gain voting rights via paper ballot. Hold your breath for the grand prize winner announcement on Thursday, March 28.

Nice touch: each student participant gets a little something in the way of scholarship cash for being a finalist. Last year's winner cooked at the James Beard House with Chef Corey, a rare opportunity.

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