THIBODAUX – Having won the South Central Region San Pellegrino “Almost Famous Chef Competition” on Thursday, Jan. 22, a Nicholls State University student will proceed to the national competition in Napa, Calif. – slated for March 6-9.
Jason Flato, a Mandeville, La., native and junior in the John Folse Culinary Institute, competed against six other students representing Nicholls, the Art Institute of Dallas – where the regional competition was held – and the Art Institute of Houston. Judged by several accomplished chefs, Flato was given two hours to prepare eight plates of his signature dish, Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops with Spring Pea Ravioli and Chantrelle Beurre Fondue.
“Jason’s dish revealed flawless technique, beautiful composition and superb flavor,” Chef Randy Cheramie, associate dean of the John Folse Culinary Institute, said. “He is an affable, honest, hardworking student of whom any culinary school would be proud. Nicholls and the institute are lucky to have him.”
Cheramie said the first-place victory for Nicholls is magnified by the fact that, whereas the John Folse Culinary Institute offers four-year degrees for less than $20,000, the competing schools offer two-year degrees for approximately $60,000.
“Moreover, this is the second year in a row that a student from Nicholls has placed first in the competition,” Cheramie said.