Laurie Hartfelder
Laurie Hartfelder, 2017 Student Chef Recipe Contest WinnerThough still a culinary student, Laurie Hartfelder loves teaching. In fact, one of her goals after graduation is to teach cooking classes to children.

“I enjoy developing cooking lessons plans geared towards children to encourage their lifetime connection with cooking techniques and nutrition,” Hartfelder says.

Hartfelder also hopes to continue working as a private chef and use the skills she learned in culinary school, including customizing meal plans for those with special dietary needs.

And it doesn’t take long for Hartfelder’s passion for nutrition to reveal itself when it comes to duck.

“Nutritionally, duck is a wonderful source of zinc, which boosts the immune system, selenium for proper thyroid function and vitamin B for nervous system support,” she shares.

Hartfelder was first influenced to use ingredients that are at their peak of freshness, flavor and nutrition by her grandparents.

“My grandmother’s generation had to cook from scratch and create meals from vegetables and fruits in season. My grandfather was a hunter and fisherman and provided meat and fish seasonally as well.”

Two culinary mentors, who inspired Hartfelder, have made a lasting impact on her culinary journey.

"Executive Chef Vui Hunt, with her energy and passion, taught me how to use simple, healthy ingredients," says Hartfelder. "Executive Chef Michael Martin taught me how to build up layers of flavors by using whole foods in their most natural state, and then combining them with an array of herbs and spices.”

Hartfelder’s prize-winning recipe, Duck Poblano Jalapeno Chili Sausage on Sweet Potato Waffles with Mango Pepper Relish, definitely impressed the judges with its delicious combination of spices and heat.

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