A juicy mangalitsa pork loin (Kern Meat Co.) with country sausage, braised shank and white bean fritter, foraged mushroom ragoût,
red cabbage, parsnip, cipollini onion “tarte Tatin” and Madeira jus lié
elicits enthusiastic approval from diners in the Restaurant of Nations.
Susan Notter, CEPC, glazes a coconut/white chocolate mousse with
roasted pineapple that reflects the flashes from spectators’ cameras.
After 11 hours of cooking and service, the national team
feels optimistic about its prospects and the mood is energetic.
“I think overall the team did a great job,” says Leonardi. “There
were obstacles like working in a new kitchen, using Celsius, the
metric system and malfunctioning equipment that they overcame,
and I think the end result proved that.”
American Culinary Federation Education Foundation
Chairman Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, was especially proud of the
team. “I feel that the team did a phenomenal job,” says Ty. “I’ve
been to several ‘culinary Olympics,’ and this one topped them
all from the starter to the dessert. These chefs put their hearts
and souls out there today.”
The kitchen is cleaned for the judges’ final inspection. The
team will wake to the announcement of a gold medal, but they
must earn a gold medal in the cold-food competition to be in the
running for No. 1 overall.
NO SLEEP TILL ERFURT
In the BMW test kitchen in Eisenach, 45 minutes outside
Erfurt, Prefontaine places a layout of the cold-food display.
Handmade ceramic plates created by Jono Pandolfi exclusively
for ACF Culinary Team USA are to be placed atop glass cylinders
etched with the team logo.
“We’re excited,” says Prefontaine. “Everything is coming
down to the wire and everyone is working through problems.” A
steampunk theme (steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that
incorporates modern concepts inspired by 19th century steam-powered machinery) weaves through the cold food display,
a collaboration between team members that was years in the
making. “What we’re trying to do is tell a story with the finger
foods and hors d’oeuvres,” he adds.
Notter leans over the tiny purple feathers that are part of the
top-hatted petits fours, and Andy Chlebana, CEPC, polishes the
base of the chocolate showpiece. With giant links, clockwork
gears and Mad Max-style goggles, the challenge of this piece is
obvious—getting it to Erfurt intact.
The highway to Erfurt from Eisenach is a quick, straight
shot, but one pothole could put the showpiece in jeopardy. “I