Thursday, March 5, 2009

U.S. team named champions at international cooking competition

American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Youth Team USA, a team of culinary students representing the United States, placed first overall at this year's Knorr World Culinary Grand Prix, a biennial competition during ScotHot, Scotland's largest exhibition for foodservice and hospitality held from March 2 to 4, in Glasgow, Scotland. The team of chefs 25 years old or younger competed against eight international teams and won three gold medals with its representation of American cuisine, from macaroni and cheese to barbecue.

The competition covered three categories: a three-course plated meal, a five-course served hot and displayed cold and a demonstration of various skills for a group of spectators. Judges evaluated mise en place and cleanliness, correct professional preparation, arrangement and presentation/innovation and taste.

"The team did a great job overall and received fantastic comments on its appetizer," said Steve Jilleba, team manager and corporate executive chef of Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill., in a statement. "The team earned the highest scores in both cold and hot kitchens and did an outstanding job representing American cuisine."

Along with the United States, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Scotland and Wales were represented at the competition. Last year, the U.S. team took second place behind Canada.

ADDED 3/17/09: ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members, all students at Professional Culinary Institute (PCI), Campbell, Calif., are: Edalyn Garcia, of Santa Clara, Calif.; Alfonso Mendoza, of Campbell, Calif.; Alison Murphy, of Santa Clara, Calif.; Alyssa Twelker, of Sunnyvale, Calif.; and Keriann Von Raesfeld, team captain, of San Jose, Calif. The team is coached by Randy Torres, director of culinary education, PCI. Congratulations to the team!