Mercyhurst University

You are here

‘Hurst student chefs sharpen skills for ‘Chopped,’ ‘Iron Chef’ face-offs

Friday, April 4, 2014

Two popular Food Network shows are coming to life at Mercyhurst University this month, thanks to hospitality management students at the Erie and North East campuses.

At 2 p.m. Monday, April 14, students from the associate degree culinary arts program at Mercyhurst North East will participate in an Iron Chef-style competition in the dining hall, located on the lower level of Miller Hall. The competition, co-sponsored by Parkhurst Dining and the MNE Culinary and Wine Institute, will challenge the students to prepare gourmet dishes with secret ingredients revealed to them just moments before they cook. The event is free and open to the public; those wishing to purchase a lunch at the cafeteria can do so for $6.75 ($4.75 for Mercyhurst employees).

The Erie hospitality management department will host its first-ever student version of “Chopped” on Tuesday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Marriott Café (lower level of the Center for Academic Engagement). Hometown favorite Steve Balcovic, a senior hospitality major from Erie and alumnus of Mercyhurst North East and Mercyhurst Preparatory School, will face international challenger Ethan Sykes, a junior hospitality major from Ontario, Canada, in a highly competitive and entertaining kitchen battle. Mercyhurst’s “Chopped” is sponsored by Maplevale Foods. Tickets are $5, with all proceeds to benefit the March of Dimes. Reservations are required and can be made via e-mail to Allyson Minor at

Both events will feature volunteer judges from the Mercyhurst community. For more information for “Iron Chef,” contact Kara Sheldon at For more information about “Chopped,” contact Allyson Minor at

FILE PHOTO: Albert Houston