RIT Student Earns Trip to Italy for Award-Winning Recipe




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A student from Rochester Institute of Technology recently won a trip to Italy in a recipe contest—and he went by octopus.

Frank Mirabile, a food management major in RIT’s School of Hospitality and Service Management, who graduated in May, won a prestigious recipe contest—and a 10-day trip to Italy—in the Cucina Toscana recipe contest. He got there by octopus—marinated and grilled octopus, that is, along with caramelized fennel puree and braised onions, which were included in a recipe that garnered a grand prize.

While in Italy, Mirabile and his wife, Nicole, of Irondequoit, attended cooking classes, wine tastings and tours. The contest, sponsored by the Antinori family (26th-generation winemakers who operate one of Italy’s largest wineries), Remy Amerique Inc. and Saveur, a gourmet foods magazine, called for an entr"&#".ord($0).";", side dish or appetizer that complements Santa Cristina wine.

Next, Mirabile is planning a 17-day trip next month to England, Ireland and Scotland to research restaurants in preparation for opening a modern French-style restaurant in the Rochester area next year. Running his own restaurant has been a longtime dream for the Henrietta native, who is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, N.Y., and Monroe Community College.

“I knew the minute I walked into a kitchen at age 16—to wash dishes at the Radisson Inn on Jefferson Road—and felt the energy, that this was where I belonged,” Mirabile says. “I love everything about the business.”

Mirabile’s passion for the restaurant business came through in his RIT classes, where he regularly peppered professors with questions, remembers David Crumb, RIT associate professor in the School of Hospitality and Service Management and one of Mirabile’s instructors.

“I think he’s going to go places,” Crumb predicts. “We’ll be hearing good things from him in the future.”

Last fall, Mirabile was a semifinalist in the Gohan in New York Rice Recipe Contest, sponsored by JA Zenchu (The Central Union of Agricultural Co-Operatives), Koshi-Hikari rice and Berko Productions. He participated in a “cook-off,” in Washington, that was televised in Japan.

Mirabile, 28, has worked as a chef in France, New York City and Nantucket, Mass. He is currently a sous chef at the Country Club of Rochester.

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Note: RIT’s 112-year-old School of Hospitality and Service Management, one of the nation’s most respected, offers undergraduate degrees in food management, food marketing and distribution, hotel and resort management, nutrition management and travel and tourism management. Students train in Henry’s, a student-run, full-service restaurant, using state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories including a food lab for developing and evaluating new food products and equipment. The school offers graduate degrees in career and human resource development, health systems administration, hospitality-tourism management, instructional technology and service management.

Founded in 1829, RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and education for the deaf. RIT enrolls 15,300 students in more than 340 undergraduate and graduate programs.