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Local Culinary Student Competes In ‘Top Chef Of Academic World’

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Culinary student Rita Stephenson.

Culinary student Rita Stephenson.

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) – It’s the Top Chef of the academic world, and one local culinary student plans to compete in it at the end of June. But she’s got to raise enough of the leafy green colored stuff. WWJ’s Kathryn Larson has the story.

It’s a dream Oakland Community College Culinary Student Rita Stephenson wants to fulfill with all her heart, reaching  top honors in the SKILLS-USA Competition.

“I can do this and it’s a field that I’m in school for, but that also I’m really good at,” Stephenson said. “And, with winning first place, I now get to go to the national competition which is Kansas City, Missouri.”

The trip, however, is no cheap endeavor. The Oak Park resident said “the trip is around $2,000 per person, including everything.”

To help ease the financial burden, Oakland Community College is hosting the Great Lakes Great Wine Event, Thursday, May 19 at 6:00 pm on the college’s campus.

“There’s going to be samples and local businesses come and they serve their local food,” Stephenson said.

The event features over 500 wines from the Great Lakes region, as well as signature dishes from the tri-county area’s top-rated restaurants.

In the past 16 years, the event has raised more than $100,000 dollars for students just like Stephenson– hoping to hear a judge says something like this: “You are top chef!”

Admission to the Great Lakes Great Wine Walk Around Tasting is $50 per person. For more information, click here or call 248-522-3700.

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