Drexel senior Alexxa Grattan won first place Jan. 30 for a dish she created at the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Mid-Atlantic competition held at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia.
Grattan, a senior majoring in culinary arts, created and has been perfecting her winning signature dish, Chicken & Biscuits Goes to Town, since October. She received a standing ovation from chefs and media judges when she was declared winner of the regional competition.
“The judges loved how I kept everything within the regional cuisine,” Grattan said. The judges appreciated the use of local ingredients, such as gluten-free thyme biscuit, in the chicken dish.
“Everything about Alexxa’s winning dish expressed who she is — imaginative, skilled and possessing a lively sense of humor,” Edward Bottone, Grattan’s mentor throughout the process and a chef and instructor for Drexel’s Culinary Arts Program, said.
Grattan will present Chicken & Biscuits at the national competition in Napa, Calif., in March. There she will compete for up to $22,000 in prize money, a one-year paid apprenticeship with a celebrity chef, and the opportunity to re-create her dish during an extensive media tour.
“I’m really excited for it — I think it will be a great experience,” Grattan said.
Grattan plans to get involved with behind-the-scenes work in the food television industry after graduating from Drexel this June.