The American Culinary Federation North Carolina Student Team from Alamance Community College, Graham, North Carolina, won the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Southeast Region Student Team Championship on January 31. The competition was held at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, Tucker, Georgia.

The student team members were Evangeline Cruz, Adriana Carreon, Jonathan Gonzalez-Cortez (alternate), Trevor Slosek, and Justin Brown (captain). Brian Bailey, CCC, department head and culinary instructor, and Todd Wanless, CCC, chef instructor, at Alamance Community College, coached. The team had the highest overall score and received a silver medal at the competition.

The ACF Student Team Championship, sponsored by Vitamix, is designed to raise the standards of culinary excellence and professionalism among students, promote camaraderie and educational opportunities and act as a staging area for research and development of culinary concepts. To compete at the regional level, teams must first win local and state competitions.

“It means a lot to our students, faculty, staff, and past competition teams to have won the regional competition,” Bailey says. “We are proud to represent North Carolina at the nationals. We will continue to practice and build on the professional and constructive critiques that we received at the state and regional levels. With the competition being held this summer, we will have many other ingredients available to us and plan to utilize the local summer harvest.”

The teams prepared four portions of a fish starter; salad; pre-assigned classical entrée, Poulet Sauté Saint-Lambert, as well as two appropriate sides to accompany the entree, from Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery (Le Guide Culinaire version); and dessert.

Winning Menu: Flounder paupiette with fennel sauce: fall vegetable hash, celery root purée, tomato fondue, prosciutto chip, and milk solids.

Mixed green salad: apple cider vinaigrette, apple chutney, goat cheese custard, butter cracker, apple gelée, North Carolina smoked pork belly, hazelnuts, and radishes.

Poulet Sauté Saint-Lambert: choux frisée à l'ánglaise, glazed carrots, château, and purée pommes de terre.

Vanilla poached pear with pistachio financier: ginger cream, cranberry cremeux, pistachio anglaise, florentine, white chocolate powder, candied pistachios, and cranberry compote.

The team will compete for the national title against their regional counterparts at Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show, Phoenix, July 15-19.

ACF Regional Culinary Salon Competitions are a part of ACF’s Signature Series, which provides educational and networking opportunities through ChefConnect events and competitions for culinary industry professionals and students. 

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