14 Chefs Go Head-to-Head Competing for Spot on ACF Culinary Team USA

Fourteen chefs will compete in final phase of tryouts, hot-food, for a spot on the American Culinary Federation’s internationally acclaimed six-member team of ACF Culinary Team USA.  The event will take place August 24 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the College of Dupage, Illinois. The 14 chefs advanced from a field of 25 to the hot-food portion by excelling in the cold-food tryouts held in June.

Candidates have 15 minutes to set up, and 2 hours, 30 minutes, to cook, plate, and present 12 portions of a hot-food fish course and main dish using two different cooking methods for both. ACF Culinary Team USA members will be selected based on several factors, including: presentation, composition, and harmony of ingredients, flavor, technique, practicality, degree of difficulty, and skill level. Each chef competitor 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. Final selection will take into account both cold- and hot-food segments and skill sets, as well as personality, attitude and the ability to excel and work cohesively in a team setting.

This event is to determine who will be selected to represent the United States on ACF Culinary Team USA, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions, which will compete in international competitions including the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung, commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany, October. 22-25, 2016.


  • Joseph Albertelli, executive chef, Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York; Chefs Association of Westchester and Lower Connecticut
  • Brian Campbell, CEC, CCE, senior instructor, Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, North Carolina; ACF North Carolina Chapter
  • George Castaneda, executive chef, Sodexo, Franklin, Tennessee; ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter
  • Shawn Culp, CEC, culinary arts instructor, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Bridgeville, Penn.; ACF Pittsburgh Chapter
  • Ben Grupe, sous chef, Old Warson Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.
  • Aaron Haga, CEC, chef tournant, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado; ACF Pikes Peak Chapter Inc.
  • Jason Hall, CMC, executive chef, Hammock Dunes Club, Palm Coast, Florida; ACF St. Augustine Chapter
  • Adam Munroe, chef de cuisine, The Country Club, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; ACF Epicurean Club of Boston
  • Alison Murphy, executive pastry chef, The Vintage Club, Indian Wells, California; ACF national member
  • Woojay Poynter, CSC, assistant professor, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Oregon; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon
  • John Reed, CEC, CCA, owner, Customized Culinary Solutions, Skokie, Illinois; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.
  • Matthew Seasock, CEC, executive sous chef, The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas; ACF national member
  • Corey Siegel, CC, rounds cook, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; ACF of Greater Buffalo New York
  • Ashley VanHulle, baker, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Detroit


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