bb.q Chicken, Korea’s Finest Fried Chicken, recently teamed up with CIA Consulting, a division of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), to host a Student Innovation Challenge at the college. Students were tasked with fusing Korean and American ingredients together in a chicken sandwich. Eight students competed in the finals, with a $5,000 scholarship, plus a chance for the winning dish to be featured in bb.q Chicken’s New York City K-town location at stake. With food being a gateway to culture, the contest illustrated how Korean food can be incorporated into different cuisines, while remaining authentic at its core. 

At the competition, each finalist created a brand-new chicken sandwich concept using bb.q’s spices in the breading. Bonus points were also awarded for using bb.q’s authentic Korean sauces. Some of the innovative concepts included were: the Nutty Chicken Burger, Golden Gochujang Chicken Sando, Spicy Peach and Praline Bacon Sandwich, and Jjajang Mala Chicken Sandwich. There could only be one winner and CIA student Sarah Honhart took first place with the Spicy Peach and Praline Bacon Sandwich

The judges’ line-up included two executive chefs from Michelin-star restaurants: David Shim (Cote) and Dae-ik Jung (Jungsik). “Korean spices and cuisine are so distinct, but it’s been incredible to see how CIA students have used traditional Korean spices and sauces and weaved them into their chicken sandwich concepts,” says Chef David Shim. “As a chef, I am a food fanatic, and it is especially interesting to see the younger generation use Korean food in new and creative ways. I wish I thought of some of these ideas myself!”  

bb.q (pronounced bee-bee-que) stands for Best of the Best Quality and serves as a promise to always make Korea’s Finest Fried Chicken. The restaurant’s success stems from thoroughly educating its franchisees to develop consistent dining experiences for customers across all locations, proving that education is integral to bb.q’s core values. “We are proud to collaborate with the CIA, as we share common values and the importance of education,” says CEO Joseph Kim. “Congratulations to the winners of the competition and we wish all the best to the other finalists who are incredible culinary students.”   

Bb.q Chicken currently has 3,500 locations across 57 countries, with plans to expand to 150 U.S. locations by the end of 2022.

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