Du Jour: Corrito Gealogo
Corrito Geologo’s grapefruit mousse profiteroles clinched the deal. After winning the Louisiana Culinary Institute’s annual “Race to Cannes” cooking competition, she heads to France in May to cook at the Cannes Film Festival. “I still have to pinch myself,” says Geologo, 24. The LCI tournament takes place every spring over several weeks and culminates in a Chopped-style face-off that presents two students with pesky mystery ingredients and an intimidating time limit.
The competition was close, but Geologo, a pastry student, won over judges during the dessert round, in which she incorporated grapefruit into grapefruit mousse-filled profiteroles. This followed an appetizer round that saw Geologo transform required Roma tomatoes, egg whites and alfafa sprouts into a Napoleon of grilled tomato with fried egg white and alfalfa sprout sauce, and an entrée round in which she prepared pan-seared monkfish fillet with lemon garlic butter, parsnip puree and crispy julienned zucchini.
A misstep with zucchini (her oil wasn’t hot enough) intensified the competition, but Geologo prevailed. It was no small feat for a budding pastry chef who hasn’t had serious training on the savory side. The Race to Cannes victory was a satisfying end to several months of rewarding study, says Geologo, who has always dreamed of becoming a chef.
Last year, Geologo entered WAFB’s Nine Chefs cooking competition for amateur cooks, but was eliminated in the first round. She was deeply disappointed, but within a month, decided to enroll in LCI. The school had hosted Nine Chefs, and Geologo says she was enticed by the facilities and the vibe. She selected LCI’s new pastry program since pastry chefs tend to have family friendly hours. Geologo is the mother of a four-year-old autistic son.
She says she knew right away that culinary school was the right choice.
“It was the first time I was at place where I felt like people really wanted me and really cared about my success,” she says. “I really have taken what they told me to heart – that you get out of it what you put into it.”
Geologo will be cooking in the American Pavilion’s notoriously cramped kitchen for large numbers of spectators and members of the film industry. Follow her experiences, which begin May 10, on her forthcoming blog, corritoincannes.blogspot.com.
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