Chefs Compete for Spot on Renowned ACF Culinary Team USA

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., February 4, 2010–Twenty-eight chefs have been chosen to compete in the first of two culinary competitions at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Ill., to determine who will be selected to represent the United States on ACF Culinary Team USA in the 2012 International Culinary Art Exhibition (IKA), commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany.

ACF Culinary Team USA is the official representative team of the United States in major international culinary competition, and the 28 chefs will vie for a spot on the internationally acclaimed six-member team. Before being chosen to attend a tryout, candidates must pass a rigorous application review in which their application, résumé, biography, competition experience, work history and other qualifications are evaluated. Applicants are then eliminated, and tryout selections are made.

The first of two tryouts takes place Feb. 19-21 at Elgin Community College featuring the cold-fold segment. This is an intense competition where the pressure is high and skills are pushed to their limits, and the candidates begin their journey to gold. The candidates will have 17 hours to prepare, plate and present their dishes according to the guidelines.

The chefs selected to try out are as follows:

·         Timothy, Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE, associate professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

·         Stephen Bush, CSC, sous chef, Mac D’s Pub, Wilmington, Ohio; ACF Greater Dayton Chapter

·         Scott Campbell, executive chef, Downingtown Country Club, Downingtown, Pa.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

·         Chad Durkin, executive pastry chef, Desserts International, LLC, Exton, Pa.; ACF Philadelphia Chapter

·         Kevin Doherty, CEC, CCA, regional executive chef, Delaware North Companies, Boston; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston

·         Peter Dwyer, CEC, chef-instructor, Lincoln Culinary Institute, Hartford, Conn.; Connecticut Chefs Association

·         George Gonzalez, executive chef, Sodexo, Nashville, Tenn.; ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter

·         Scott Green, CEC, executive chef, Delaware North Companies, Hamburg, N.Y.; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York

·         Ben Grupe, senior apprentice, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; ACF National Chapter

·         Anthony Haacke, CEC, executive chef, Racquet Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.

·         Thomas Haggerty, sous chef, Indian Hills Country Club, Mission Hills, Kan.

·         Adam Heath, CSC, executive sous chef, River Oaks Country Club, Houston; ACF National Chapter

·         Joseph Leonardi, CEC, executive chef, Somerset Club, Boston; ACF Rhode Island Chapter

·         Robert Meitzer, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Red Rocks Country Club, Morrison, Colo.; ACF Colorado Chefs Association

·         Brian Joseph Moll, CC, sauté cook, Isleworth Country Club, Windermere, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

·         Stephen Perkins, CEC, executive chef, Marriott Chesapeake, Chesapeake, Va.; ACF Virginia Chefs Association

·         Joseph Piazza, CEC, executive chef, Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.; ACF Colorado Chefs Association

·         Timothy Prefontaine, CEC, executive chef, The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas; ACF National Chapter

·         Fred Raynaud, corporate executive chef, Guest Services, Inc., Fairfax, Va.; ACF Nations Capital Chefs Association

·         Charles Reed, executive chef, Millennium Hotel, Cincinnati; ACF Greater Cincinnati Chapter

·         John Reed, CEC, CCA, owner, Customized Culinary Solutions, Skokie, Ill.; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.

·         Orlando Santos, CEPC, executive pastry chef, The Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh; ACF Pittsburgh Chapter

·         Ryan Schroeder Jr., CEC, chef/owner, Big Tomatoes, Green Bay, Wis.; ACF Fox Valley Chapter

·         Daryl Shular, CCC, corporate executive chef, Performance Food Services, Oakwood, Ga.; ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc.

·         Rudy Smith, CEC, corporate chef, Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill.; ACF National Chapter

·         Travis Smith, CEC, CCA, AAC, chef director, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City; ACF Culinary Arts Society of Oklahoma

·         Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC, executive chef, Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.

·         Eddie Tancredi, chef de cuisine, Rosendales, Columbus, Ohio; ACF Columbus Chapter      

“ACF Culinary Team USA tryouts are not a venue in which to learn for first-time competitors. This is truly a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity and experience that moves careers to new levels,” said ACF Culinary Team USA Manager Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, corporate executive chef at Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill. “Experience and knowledge in the craft of cookery at a skilled level is essential, as is being able to produce garde manger food and hot cuisine at the highest possible level.”

Each chef competing at the tryouts must display a high level of craftsmanship based on solid classical cooking principles and a variety of cooking disciplines incorporating current and modern trends in presentation, technique and taste. Not only will candidates be evaluated on their skill sets, but personality, teamwork, attitude and other factors are considered when selecting the final team members. Elimination before the second tryout, hot food, is possible if a chef does not possess the necessary talent, traits and ability to excel and work cohesively in a team setting. 

Judging the competitions are the following ACF-approved culinary competition judges: Joachim Buchner, CMC, executive chef, Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.; Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, executive chef, River Oaks Country Club, Houston; Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Houston Country Club, Houston; Patricia Nash, pastry chef, Motor City Casino, Detroit, Mich.; Gilles Renusson, pastry chef professor, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Daniel Scannell, CMC, chef, La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach, Fla.; and David Turcotte, CEC, AAC, executive chef, U.S. Army, Fort Lee, Va.

ACF Culinary Team USA began competing in international competitions in 1956. The 1960 team captured the first world championship honor, and ACF Culinary Team USA repeated the distinction in 1980, 1984 and 1988 by taking the prestigious hot-food competition and establishing a new world record for the most consecutive gold-medal wins. In 2002, Team USA had the highest score in restaurant-style cooking among 32 nations, and in 2008, the regional team won the overall world championship title for the regional portion and the youth team placed fourth overall in the youth category. Since 1998, all ACF Culinary Team USA teams, including national, regional, pastry and student, have won 33 gold and 12 silver medals.

The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 22,000 members spanning 230 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org.