Fisher Nuts contest yields creative dishes from ECC students

  • Tags: Achievements | Events | Student Profile
Published 04/19/2019

Eight Elgin Community College culinary students were tough nuts to crack as they competed for scholarship prizes during the annual ECC/Fisher Nuts Recipe Competition on Wednesday, April 17 at the college’s Spartan Terrace Restaurant.

This is the eleventh year the college has partnered with Fisher Nuts, products of Elgin-based John B. Sanfilippo and Son, to offer students additional opportunities to achieve success.

“The relationship between the Culinary Arts department and the Fisher Nuts team continues to grow each year of the competition,” said Kimberly Rother, Instructional Coordinator of Culinary Arts and Hospitality. “Everyone in the department appreciates this fantastic opportunity for students. “

For the competition, students prepare dishes using products donated by Fisher Nuts. The company invites guests to this private event and students present their dishes to the attendees. Each guest is granted one vote for the dish they deem the best.

Four students received $1,000 scholarships including Emma Brant for her Walnut Pesto Quiche, Cecilia Estrada for her Barbacoa Tacos with Cashew Salsa, Linda Cooper for her Chicken and Spinach in Satay Cashew Sauce, and Bri Pena for her Mini Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake.

Four additional students earned $250 scholarships including Haley Barker for her German Chocolate Tiny Pie, Stephen Flahery for his Mac & Cheese with Cashew Marinara Sauce, Megan Hoppensteadt for her Fisher Almond Guinness Lava Cake, and Annie Sterkel for her Fisher Spiced Pecan Crusted Shrimp.

For additional information about culinary events at ECC, call 847-214-7382 or visit

To learn how to establish a scholarship or become a sponsoring partner for events such as this, please contact the Elgin Community College Foundation at 847-214-7377.