Tri-C Student Wins Cleveland’s Culinary Clash

Victory sends Magdalis Galarza to San Francisco for cooking competition finals

Magdalis Galarza, a culinary student at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®), will represent Cleveland in the 2015 Ultimate Culinary Clash — a cooking and scholarship competition sponsored by InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts.

The finals will be held May 6 in San Francisco, where Galarza will test her skills against other students from throughout North and South America.

Galarza qualified for the Ultimate Culinary Clash by winning a local competition that took place at Table 45 at InterContinental Hotel Cleveland, where she impressed guest judges and diners with her dishes.

Her menu featured an appetizer of shrimp ceviche and golden brown coconut arepa; an entrée of grilled skirt steak with creamy horseradish aioli and potato-cauliflower fritter; and a dessert of passion fruit mousse with lace almond cookie and dark chocolate.

Galarza grew up in Puerto Rico, where she learned the art of cooking while working alongside her grandmother and mother in the family kitchen. She moved to Cleveland in 2013 to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

She discovered Tri-C online and applied to the College’s Culinary Arts program. In December, Galarza graduated magna cum laude with an associate degree and three certificates, and she is now working toward a second degree.

Galarza is a sauté chef at Fire Food & Drink on Shaker Square after starting at the Cleveland restaurant via an internship through the College.

For winning the local Culinary Clash, Galarza received a $1,500 scholarship from Table 45 at InterContinental Cleveland. The restaurant awarded a total of $5,000 to student competitors and the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center Scholarship Fund.

About InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has 174 hotels located in more than 60 countries with local insight that comes from over 60 years of experience. As a brand, it believes that superior, understated service and outstanding facilities are important, but what makes InterContinental truly different is the genuine interest shown in guests and the desire to provide authentic experiences that will enrich their lives and broaden their outlook. For more information, visit

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