ACF Culinary National Team USA 2012
had its first practice session June 7-9
at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in
Charlotte, N.C. The assignment was cold-food exhibition, and each team member
had two or three dishes and/or platters to
prepare, based on the requirements and
guidelines for the Culinary World Cup. The
national team will compete at the Culinary
World Cup in Luxembourg in November.
By Michelle Whitfield
ACF CULINARY TEAM USA
Nash and Gilles Renusson. George Gonzalez,
a finalist in the national team tryouts, travelled
at his own expense to the practice session to
assist and to learn from team members.
Team members arrived early Monday morning
at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with
boxes of equipment and supplies. Geoffrey
Blount, CEPC, executive pastry chef at Central
Piedmont Community College in Charlotte,
and Kimberly Stoll, a student at the school,
helped transfer team members to JWU. There,
Mark Allison, dean of culinary education, and
Ashley McGee, CEC, educator, were on hand
to ensure that all went smoothly.
The team quickly got to work preparing the
dishes and platters that would be displayed
and critiqued the following day. The kitchen
was bustling, and team members worked
with intensity and precision, staying
focused on the job at hand.
each chef presented one of his assignments,
followed by comments from Buchner, Jilleba
and Keogh. Team members listened intently
to the information given and advice offered.
When it was time to present their second dish
or platter, they were critiquing their own work.
The second day concluded with practice in
hot food—an appetizer and a main dish.
Joseph Leonardi, left, and Ben Grupe
work on cold food during the national
team’s first practice session.
Team manager Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE,
AAC, thanked the new national team
members for their passion and dedication
to the team. “Welcome to the beginning of
an unforgettable journey,” he said.
That evening, Keogh gave a presentation
of his experiences on ACF Culinary Team
USA in 1992 and 1996. His advice for this
new generation of team members was to
rediscover old techniques and use ingredients
from the same regional area. “And I can’t
stress too much the importance of teamwork,”
he said. “Also, remember that you represent
each and every chef in the U.S. in competition.”
Early Wednesday morning, the team met to
review what they had learned over the past
two days and to discuss the path forward.
The next practice session is scheduled for
July 19-21 at JWU in Providence, R.I.
Also at the practice session were team
advisor Keith Keogh, CEC, AAC, and
coaches Joachim Buchner, CMC, Patricia
The following morning, team members were
back in the kitchen to finish their dishes. Then,
left, watches Ben
Grupe and Eddie
Tancredi at work.
Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE
Anthony “Ben” Grupe
Joseph Leonardi, CEC
Timothy Prefontaine, CEC
J. Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC