Chefs and students from the Southeast competed in the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Southeast Region Culinary Salon for ACF’s annual regional awards Jan. 10-11 at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, Tucker, Georgia.
Four competitions took place at the salon to determine who would receive ACF’s Southeast Region titles for Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Student Chef of the Year, and Student Team Regional Championship.
The following ACF Southeast Region competition award winners will compete for their respective national titles at Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention and Show, in Orlando, Florida from July 30-Aug. 3.
ACF Southeast Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions— Seth Shipley, CEC, CCA, Executive Chef, The Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande, Florida. Shipley received an associate degree in culinary arts from Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Pittsburgh, and is a graduate of The Greenbrier’s apprenticeship program of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. He received gold and silver medals at ACF-sanctioned competitions during his apprenticeship, and his experience includes kitchen supervisor at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia. Shipley is a member of The Southwest Florida Chapter of the ACF.
ACF Southeast Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá European-Style Butter— Rodrigo Domingono Nunez Jr., executive pastry chef, Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida. Nunez was born in Manila, Philippines. He has a bachelor’s degree in food and technology from Roxas Memorial College of Trade and Arts, Kalibo, Philippines, and an associate degree in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Colorado, Denver. Nunez has worked at several resorts and hotels in the Philippines and U.S., including Manila Diamond Hotel and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and Flamingo Las Vegas. Nunez has competed in several ACF-sanctioned competitions and received a silver medal at ACF’s USA Culinary Cup Challenge in 2011, and won ACF Southeast Region Pastry Chef of the Year in 2013. He is a member of ACF Central Florida Chapter.
ACF Southeast Region Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary— Elxis Dodson, line cook at Roy’s in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Dodson recently graduated from The Art Institute of Jacksonville in Florida Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in culinary management. She has competed in several ACF-sanctioned competitions and has received silver and bronze medals. Dodson’s goal is to work at the Sea Island Resort in Sea Island, Georgia, and then move to Charleston, South Carolina. She is a member of ACF First Coast Chapter.
ACF Southeast Region Student Team Championship, sponsored by Vitamix Corporation—ACF North Carolina Chapterstudents from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Team members, Natalie Britton, Nina Esquire, Sarah Keeney, Carolina Huerta, and Madelyn Stroud, competed against five other teams for the title. Matthew Tracy, CEC, director and chair of culinary arts, and Dean Neff, culinary instructor, at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, coached.