OCCI Ice Carving

Gabby Lomango and Allison Haynes work on the seahorse ice sculpture that won first place in the National Collegiate Ice Carving Championship in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

COOS BAY — Southwestern Oregon Community College's Oregon Coast Culinary Institute's competitive Ice Team took home gold in the U.S. National Collegiate Ice Carving Championship in Frankenmuth, Michigan in January. The competition was hosted by John Zehnder of Frankenmuth.

OCCI's newly formed team competed in three categories: Compulsory Single Block Design, Freestyle, and Multi-Block. They won eight bronze medals, two for each team member, as well as a gold and silver for the multi-block winning teams.

Seven teams competed with OCCI, taking home both first and second place for the overall school win. The first place team winners were Allison Hayes and Gabriella Lomango, while the second place team winners were Andy Wright and Syletta Wilson. The team is coached by Chef Chris Foltz, assistant professor of culinary arts at OCCI, and supported by John Dombroski.

OCCI ice carving team, from left: Andy Wright, John Dombroski, Syletta Wilson, Coach Chef Chris Foltz, Gabby Lomango and Allison Haynes

OCCI will not be participating in the 2020 World Ice Carving Championships, which kick off Feb. 15-31 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Chef Chris Foltz said he doesn't typically take first year students to the world championships. However, he said he hopes to take the team to next year's competition.

Reporter Adam Robertson can be reached at 541-297-3590, or by email at adam.robertson@theworldlink.com.

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