Student Chef of the Year Daniel Gorman,
second from right, is congratulated by,
from left, Michael Smith, CEC, corporate
executive chef, Mike Speranza, CEC,
corporate executive chef, and Scott Gilbert,
CEC, AAC, director of culinary, representing
Custom Culinary, Inc.
planned dishes. “Competing with the others
is a rush,” he says. “Competition brings out
the beast in us.”
During the competition, Gorman was doing
more than going through the motions
of cooking. He tasted everything, and
if he didn’t like the result, he made the
needed adjustments immediately and
with precision so that he could continue
to manage his time. With every glance at
the clock, judges, chefs and the crowd that
began to gather around Gorman’s station
could tell that everything he did was the
culmination of many long hours of practice.
became a member of the Junior Hot Food
Team, which won the 2007 Student Team
National Championship. In 2008, he was
on the ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter, Inc.
team that won the Student Team Regional
Championship for the Southeast Region.
Country Club, Windermere, Fla., at the
World Association of Chefs Societies
Global Chefs Challenge semifinals for the
Americas in São Paulo, Brazil.
His passion for culinary was a driving force
for him as a student, and continues to be
a driving force for him in all that he does,
both competitively and in his professional
career. “This is my passion, and I love what
I do,” Gorman says.
Gorman says he has grown through
competition, and he thanks his mentors,
coworkers and family for pushing him
every step of the way to strive for more
than the minimum standard expected.
In his cooking, Gorman used flavor and
style from the Southeast, but the personal
accents he put into each dish is what
brought them together to create a win for
the 2010 Student Chef of the Year.
“After going to school and doing all this,
he watches me cook and gets so nervous.
He says he is worried I’m going to cut off a
finger,” Lisa Stephens, Gorman’s “Momma,”
GROWTH OF A PASSION
Gorman was born in Charleston, S.C., and
later moved to Asheville, N.C. He started
to help out in the kitchen when he was
about 9 years old, but he really blossomed
while attending high school. Realizing his
love for culinary, he decided to pursue
his passion by enrolling in Asheville-
Buncombe Technical Community
College in Asheville. While
attending college, he
After graduation in 2007, he began
working at Cherokee Town and Country
Club under J. Kevin Walker, CMC, AAC,
the club’s executive chef. In July 2009,
Gorman apprenticed for Heather Hurlbert,
executive pastry chef at the club, when she
competed for and won the Pastry Chef of
the Year title in Orlando, Fla. That year, he
also served as apprentice to Russell Scott,
CMC, WGMC, executive chef at Isleworth
One of the dishes that helped Daniel
Gorman become the 2010 Student
Chef of the Year is this bacon-wrapped
roasted chicken roulade stuffed with
oyster mushroom mousseline, carrot
purée, chicken-fat fried potatoes,
sautéed green beans, chicken
cracklings, a braised chicken spring roll
and a roast chicken jus.