News

Related

ACC Culinary Team Awarded Silver at National Competition Finals

ACC’s student culinary team at the ACF national championship in Phoenix: (from left) Jeff Apple, Adriana Carreon, Jonathan Gonzalez-Cortez, Trevor Slosek, and Justin Brown. Instructors Todd Wanless and Dept. Head Brian Bailey standing.

ACC’s student culinary team at the ACF national championship in Phoenix: (from left) Jeff Apple, Adriana Carreon, Jonathan Gonzalez-Cortez, Trevor Slosek, and Justin Brown. Instructors Todd Wanless and Dept. Head Brian Bailey standing.

 Alamance Community College’s Student Culinary Hot Foods Team tied for a silver medal at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Student Team National Championship in Phoenix, Arizona in late July. The competition was part of the ACF National Convention held at the J.W. Marriot.

This was the first time in the College’s history that its culinary student team had ever qualified for a trip to this “super bowl” of culinary competitions.

“We faced some very tough competition and faced new challenges in winning a silver medal,” said Brian Bailey, Culinary Arts Department Head at ACC. “These students worked extremely hard to get here and learned a great deal. Their experience was invaluable and their cooking skills and organizational skills are now at a much higher level due to this national competition.”

In Phoenix, ACC faced stiff competition from the other regional finalists representing Northeast, Central and Western regions: Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (Coos Bay, Oregon), Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, Kansas) Monroe College (New Rochelle, NY), and a military entrant based in Hawaii. Oregon Coast was awarded national champion.

ACC’s student team that competed in Phoenix was comprised of Justin Brown, Adriana Carreon, Jonathan Gonzalez, Trever Slosek, and Jeff Apple (alternate). Evangeline Cruz, a team member up until Phoenix, had to withdraw due to a family emergency.

The national competition pitted ACC’s team in a timed competition against the other finalists. Each team member was tasked with overseeing and preparing a specific dish: appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert. Teams were judged on an array of skills, including preparation, organization, and time.

ACC’s team made it to the national finals after earning the top spot in last winter’s Southeast Regional competition in Atlanta. This outcome made them the best competition team in the southeastern United States in 2015-16 and aligns ACC in good company with other top culinary competition teams. That contest saw ACC best student teams from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta and Miami, FL, and from College of the Bahamas.

The ACC team had practiced extensively since last fall for the North Carolina competition held in Charlotte last December, which they won sending them to Atlanta. Bailey said the students often spent 10-12 hours practicing in recent weeks in preparation, often working past midnight at the Graham campus.

The students on the team have had a special year indeed: competitions in Charlotte and Atlanta; a busy cooking weekend at Wilkesboro’s annual Merlefest; three members of the team participating in a 10-day tour of cooking schools and chef’s markets in France and Spain in late May; and winding up with a silver medal at their first ever national championship last week.

“A great deal of time, effort and practice went into winning both the state and regional competitions and Chefs Brian Bailey and Todd Wanless and their students are to be commended for so generously giving their time and making us very proud,” commented ACC President Dr. Algie Gatewood.

In Phoenix, the student team was managed by ACC Chef Todd Wanless, and supported by adjunct instructors Doris Schomberg and Marvin Kimber.

Said Bailey: “We’re also very grateful for all the financial support from employees, trustees, and friends of the College who gave donations to help us throughout this year, including our trip to Phoenix. Our students could not have gained all this experience without their help.”

All expenses for the trips this year were collected either through donations or fundraisers. No state dollars were used for the trip.

Student participation in the ACF competition is supported by the H. Joseph Schoeneck Memorial Endowment. Funds provided assist students with fees, uniforms, travel expenses and other related costs. This scholarship was established in memory of Joe Schoeneck, husband of ACC Early Childhood Education instructor Rebecca Schoeneck. Joe Schoeneck was director of food services at Moses Cone Hospital and was a member of the International Food Service Executives Association, and a culinary advisory board member at Alamance Community College.