Fifteen of 26 chefs have qualified to compete in the second of two culinary competitions to determine who will be selected to represent the United States on ACF Culinary Team USA at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg this November and the 2012 International Culinary Art Exhibition (IKA), commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics,” in Erfurt, Germany.
The first of two tryouts for ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative team of the United States in major international culinary competition, was held Feb. 19-21 at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Ill., featuring the cold-food segment. After a grueling tryout process in which the 26 chef candidates had 17 hours to prepare, plate and present their dishes according to the guidelines, 15 were awarded medals and will advance to the hot-food segment April 11 at Elgin Community College.
Among those who advanced was the sole educator, Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE, an associate professor at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill. Bucci earned a gold medal.
“This was the beginning of the journey for Team USA, and I was thrilled with the level of excitement and professionalism from all of the competitors,” said ACF Culinary Team USA Manager Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, corporate executive chef at Unilever Foodsolutions, Lisle, Ill. “After seeing the foods that were displayed, I know that Team USA will have a great cold program in Luxemburg and at the ‘culinary Olympics’ in 2012. Now I am so excited to see what the finalists are going to produce in the hot kitchen in April.”