People & Places

S&D Coffee & Tea Announces S&D Culinary Challenge Finalists

S&D Coffee & Tea (S&D), the largest coffee and tea manu­fac­turer and supplier to restau­rants and conve­nience stores in America, has selected the final­ists for its 7th annual Culinary Challenge at Johnson & Wales University Charlotte (JWU).
Students were invited to submit orig­inal recipes that incor­po­rate S&D coffee and tea extracts or coffee grounds and meet this year’s theme, “Food Truck Frenzy.” On January 27, a judging panel of Charlotte-based food truck owners partic­i­pated in a taste test to narrow the pool down from 20 to the top 10.
The 10 final­ists vying for the $5,000 grand prize are as follows (name, home­town & orig­inal recipe name):
• Lorenzo Delgado, Kannapolis, NC, “Not Your Average Cup of Joe”
• Ashley Gabrielsen, Sayville, NY, “Doughnut Panic”
• Gillian Howard, Memphis, TN, “Coffee Shwarmas & Ginger Mint Tea”
• Chainey Kuykendall, Mount Airy, NC, “Coffee ScenTEAd Abura Soba”
• Garret Lochner, Florence, SC, & Megan Hoag, Raleigh, NC, “Gulab Jamuns in Cinnamon Coffee Syrup”
• Dustin Marshall, Akron, OH, “S&D Coffee Brined Jerk Chicken Lollipops”
• Olivia Pedroff, St. Petersburg, FL, & Maria Meacher, Virginia Beach, VA, “The Caffeinated Pig by Rollin Gnocchi”
• Francisco Saad, Charlotte, NC, “Coffee & Chili Rub ‘Pick Me Up’ Tacos”
• Brandon Staton, Virginia Beach, VA, “Brandough’s Bao”
• Nicholas Wishart, Hillsboro, OH, “Over the Rhine”
These chefs-in-training will now be paired with one of the food truck owners who will serve as a mentor, helping them prepare to compete at the Culinary Challenge’s live culi­nary event on Feb. 14, held in the Hance Auditorium on the JWU campus.
The top student chef chosen that evening will receive a $5,000 grand prize, and the winner’s food truck mentor will receive a $5,000 dona­tion to the mentor’s charity of choice. Seven other students will also receive cash prizes.
For more infor­ma­tion on the contes­tants and recipes, visit

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