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ECC Culinary Arts students triumphant in cupcake face-off

Cupcake Competition

Liz Esposito's Touchdown Irish cupcake, and duo Sarah Connelly's and Matt Micari's White Chocolate Caramel Tiramisu cupcake.

Elgin Community College placed not once, but twice, Thursday, Oct. 22 at the annual Hoffman Estates' International Food Tasting Festival in a cupcake face-off against students from Harper College. Liz Esposito, with her Touchdown Irish cupcake, seized first place in the cupcake competition. Duo Sarah Connelly and Matt Micari won second place with their White Chocolate Caramel Tiramisu cupcake.

“I am extremely proud of our ECC students in the Tate & Lyle cupcake competition this year,” said Chrystie Wojcik, ECC pastry chef instructor. “Both teams really stepped up their game and exceeded my expectations in the best way. The time they took to make all of the cupcakes look so delicious and the way they represented ECC at the Bon Apetit 2015 in Hoffman Estates was wonderful. Congratulations to all who competed.”

Sponsored by Tate & Lyle Splenda, the competition awards $1,000 and $500 scholarships to the two student teams who best utilize Splenda sweetener and receive the popular vote by attendees. This is the fourth cupcake showdown between the two schools. ECC students won first place two years in a row; Harper took the win at last year's competition.

ECC's Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program

ECC's Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program consists of the culinary degree curriculum, pastry/baking degree curriculum, and the restaurant management degree curriculum. Culinary arts and restaurant management students at ECC also gain real-world experience at Spartan Terrace, the student-run restaurant where they prepare and serve elegant cuisine for dinner and lunch service under the guidance of their instructors. Visit for more information.

For more information on ECC's collection of culinary, pastry, and hospitality management courses and degrees, visit


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