Six Ivy Tech Community Fort Wayne hospitality administration students will be studying in Italy after winning the 23rd annual European Competition on Jan. 10.

The students in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts spent the day competing for a chance to win a scholarship that would fund a trip to study culinary arts in Italy this spring.

Six of the eight competitors won the opportunity to travel to Italy: Faith Peralez, Jeffery Akers, Hannah Simpson, Mark Steven Guivencan, Audra Briede and Ethen Barry.

“This class represents more than two years of hard work from our hospitality administration students,” Amanda Parkinson, hospitality administration program chair, said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to reward them with this trip to Europe. The students will have fun and enhance their education by touring wineries and creameries, participating in cooking classes, and experiencing dinners in Michelin Star-rated restaurants.”

Culinary students prepared a meal with an appetizer; an entrée with a protein, vegetable and starch; and a dessert. Baking students prepared items including plated chocolate and fruit desserts, yeast bread and rolls, and a decorated cake.

Kitchen judges watched and rated students as they worked, paying attention to technique and ability. Floor judges blind-tasted the completed meals. Judges based their scores on American Culinary Federation criteria, and to be considered for the European trip, students must place at bronze standard or higher.

Based on students’ experiences in Italy, they will create the menu for this year’s A Reason to Taste, the college’s largest annual fundraiser. Money raised at A Reason to Taste funds scholarships for the winning students’ European trips. For sponsorship or ticket information contact Laura Leichty at 260-481-2243 or

“I’m excited about going on this trip and expanding my knowledge of baking and pastries,” winner Peralez said in the announcement. “You can go to Italy on your own, but during this trip we’ll be able to see what’s happening behind the scenes in Italian restaurants. It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime trip.”

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