PCTI team in the NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge finals again

April 12th, 2018

PCTI Culinary Arts students Marlex Mirabel (Passaic), Aziel Shadey Velasquez (Bloomingdale), and Ashley Gulliksen (Haskell) have advanced to the final round of the national NASA Hunch Culinary Challenge.

The efforts of Passaic County Technical Institute’s (PCTI) culinary arts students Ashley Gulliksen, Marlex Mirabal and Aziel Shadey Velasquez have earned the district a place in the national finals of the NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge for the third straight year.

Ashley Gulliksen (Haskell), Aziel Shadey Velasquez (Bloomingdale), and Marlex Mirabel (Passaic) prep their Tropical Steel Cut Oatmeal at the NASA HUNCH Review Event held at Passaic County Technical Institute

NASA’s HUNCH (High schools United with NASA to Create Hardware) program gives high school students real-world educational experiences through direct participation in NASA projects, including the production of hardware for the International Space Station, design projects for flight and training articles, and the Culinary Challenge, in which students are charged with creating tasty and wholesome meals that can be reconstituted in space.

This year’s culinary contest challenged students to create a satisfying breakfast meal that met the standards provided by NASA HUNCH officials and the Johnson Food Lab Scientists.

Much experimentation and diligence by the three PCTI students resulted in their Tropical Steel Cut Oatmeal, which earned them a spot in the finals of the national competition.

As one of the top ten-scoring schools, the team from PCTI will travel to Houston, Texas, on April 26th to compete for in the final round.

The 2016 PCTI team took home the top national award with their Red Pepper Puree Risotto.  Their winning entré was later launched into space to be enjoyed by astronauts.


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