Ivy Tech Indianapolis is a proud sponsor of Team Indiana! In November, the team of Hoosier chefs journeyed to the World Food Championships (WFC) in Dallas, Texas! 

Several chefs on the 2023 Team Indiana are associated with Ivy Tech, including our very own Brady Foster and Jenni Schouppe. Foster is a 2017 Ivy Tech Indianapolis Culinary Arts graduate and owner of Foster’s Cafe and Catering on the Lawrence campus. Schouppe is an assistant professor and the hospitality program coordinator for baking and pastry. 

“It is exciting to watch so many other people compete and to meet people from not only all over the country but the world,” Schouppe said of her experience. “I love to engage with others from the industry and make connections. You never know when that connection may come in handy or what you can learn from others.”

Another Ivy Tech graduate on Team Indiana is Marcus Daniel, from the College’s Fort Wayne campus. Daniel is the executive chef of Joseph Decuis in Fort Wayne. Cindy Hawkins, a former nine-year Ivy Tech Indianapolis baking instructor, is also on the team. Hawkins is the owner of Circle City Sweets. And Turon Cummings, a former Ivy Tech campus vendor, is also on Team Indiana. Cummings owns The Bull Grill at the Amp in downtown Indianapolis and The Bull’s Play Pen in Hammond. 

Other team members included Mike Gomez, the owner of Indy’s own Gomez BBQ; Craig Baker, the chef consultant for the AMP at 16 Tech; Dean Sample, executive chef at FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale; and Youssef Bourdair, owner of J’ADORE

“The competition overall is so much fun, yet it can be nerve-wracking. I am just the sous chef and not the head chef, which can take a bit of stress off, but I do not ever want to be the reason someone loses. That is what makes it nerve-wracking for me,” Schouppe said. 

Daniel placed third in the World Vegetarian Championship. In the World Rice and Noodle Championship, Turon placed 4th, and Foster placed 7th. Sample placed 6th and Gomez 8th in the Bacon World Championship. Hawkins placed 6th in the World Dessert Championship

“One of the greatest parts of going is telling the stories to [Ivy Tech] students,” Schouppe said. “I tell them about people I met, techniques you see watching others compete, products or equipment we have not worked with, and anything more to learn and pass on to them I love.”

Team Indiana was officially formed in 2015. The chefs compete each year in competitions like the Great American Seafood Cook-off, International Farm to Table Conference, Pillsbury, Culinary Fight Club, Paramount Chef Competition, and, of course, the World Food Championships.

A significant initiative of Team Indiana is to work with at-risk youth. In 2024, Team Indiana will explore bringing programming to Indianapolis to mentor young cooks. 

Daniel and his business partner started teaching kids how to cook about three years ago, according to Team Indiana, and it's a passion for him.

“By knowing how to cook, I was able to move around the United States. I am not sure what I would have done if I didn't know. Some kids are in the same position. Most people can't sit behind a computer all day. Everyone can't be a lawyer, a doctor, or an actor. Cooking was a way for me to ‘get out,’” Daniel said. 

Foster is also passionate about the culinary arts and seeking the discipline in higher education. He says it is because of the help of communities like Ivy Tech that he has become the culinary competitor he is today. 

“There’s something to be said about the school that you represent, appreciating you back and making you feel so proud to be a part of such a great college!” Foster shared about Ivy Tech and the support he has felt throughout his year of competing. “Thank you, Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis, and a big shout out to the Lawrence campus for loving on me all these years.”

According to Team Indiana, students from Area 31, Ivy Tech, and Second Helpings will assist the team and gain on-the-job experience working with some of the best in the industry. 

“We are going to place students in positions inside Indiana to help with workforce development.  Indiana restaurants are still recovering from the pandemic, and working with students will assist in solving this problem while building our food culture.,” a Team Indiana representative said.

You can keep up with Team Indiana on Instagram, @team_indiana

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.