InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Cooking Competition Winners


intercontinentalInterContinentalHotels & Resortsis proud to announce theInterContinental San Juanand Victor Bonano Ortiz, a culinary student at theJose A. (Tony) Santana International School of Hospitality and Culinary Artsas the winners of the brand’s Ultimate Culinary Clash, a cooking competition and scholarship fundraiser for culinary students. With the assistance of InterContinental San Juan Executive Chef Efrain Cruz, Ortiz received top honors against four other culinary students paired with InterContinental properties in the contest winning a $5,000 scholarship from the InterContinental brand. The competition took place Thursday, May 15 at theInterContinentalSan Franciscohotel.

Eight accomplished culinary personalities, including Chef Todd English, restaurateur of theInterContinentalNew York Times Squarehotel’sCa Va Brasserie, judged the competition and scored each dish on taste, creativity and presentation. Winning student Ortiz impressed the judges with his dish “Apple Sage Roasted Pork Belly with Butternut Squash, Exotic Mushrooms Torteloni, Petit Pois and Hickory Smoked Pork Jus.” His creation will be featured in InterContinental hotel restaurants across the U.S. and Puerto Rico the week ofJune 2and on theInterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app, which houses a collection of inspiring recipes created by InterContinental hotels’ executive chefs from around the world.

Showcasing the brand’s commitment to culinary excellence, the Ultimate Culinary Clash serves as an opportunity for the InterContinental brand to help inspire the next generation of culinary stars by giving exceptional young talent the stage and support to progress their culinary training in a meaningful way. Over the course of five months, five InterContinental properties across the United States and Puerto Rico held local competitions with culinary students. The first place winners from each hotel received the opportunity to move forward to the Ultimate Culinary Clash in San Francisco and also have their dish featured on their local hotel restaurant’s menu for a night. The InterContinental properties’ restaurants and culinary schools that participated in this year’s contest were:
InterContinentalBuckhead Atlanta hotel’sSouthern ArtandLe Cordon Bleu Atlanta
InterContinentalChicago Magnificent Mile hotel’sMichael Jordan’s SteakhouseandLe Cordon Bleu Chicago
InterContinental San Francisco hotel’sLuceandLe Cordon Bleu San Francisco
InterContinental New York Times Square hotel’s Ca Va Brasserie andCulinary Institute of America
InterContinental San Juan hotel’sTrattoria Italiana and Jose A. Santana International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts

The Culinary Clash began three years ago as a local annual cooking competition at the InterContinental San Francisco hotel’s Luce restaurant. The competition invited students from the Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco to compete for a chance to work with the restaurant’s Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey and showcase their own menu for one night in Luce. The competition was expanded this year to include other InterContinental brand hotels from the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The InterContinental San Francisco hotel and Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco student Kennieth Hunter won second place, and Hunter will receive a gift certificate to the Japanese specialty knife store Korin.

About InterContinentalHotels & Resorts
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has 181 hotels located in more than 60 countries with local insight that comes from over 60 years of experience. As a brand, we believe that superior, understated service and outstanding facilities are important, but what makes us truly different is the genuine interest we show in our guests. Our desire is to help guests make the most of their time. We connect our well-traveled guests to what’s special about a destination, by sharing our knowledge, so they enjoy authentic experiences that will enrich their lives and broaden their outlook. For more information, visit,

Posted by Meghan Ogilvie