Oregon Students Chosen to Represent U.S. on International Competition Stage

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After several days of hot- and cold-food competitions, a team of students, all younger than 25, from Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, Ore., representing ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon, was selected by the American Culinary to represent the U.S. in international culinary competitions as ACF Culinary Youth Team USA. The tryouts took place during the 2010 ACF National Convention in Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 2-5.

“”When we were named the winner, we knew the hard work paid off,” said Randy Torres, CEC, coach of the team that has been practicing since March. “”International competitions are much more aggressive, but two of our team members have international experience that will give us an edge. ”

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members are:

Brittney Cummings of Salt Lake City

Maddie Cutts of Boise, Idaho

Edalyn Garcia of Santa Clara, Calif.

Reilly Meehan of Santa Cruz, Calif.

Alfonso Mendoza of Nogales, Ariz.

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA falls under the banner of ACF Culinary Team USA and will represent the U.S. through 2012 in international competitions, including the 2012 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) or “culinary Olympics, taking place in Erfurt, Germany. Now that the team has been selected, it will set up a practice schedule and begin training. The team will be managed by Alex Darvishi, CEC, AAC, executive chef at Houston Country Club, Houston.

“This team has the unique opportunity to bring the first ever culinary Olympic’ championship to the United States, said Darvishi. “You could not ask for a greater honor than that.

At the national tryouts, the Oregon team competed against two other teams from California and Nebraska. On Aug. 2, teams produced a four-course meal for four in 90 minutes. The team prepared pan-seared bramzino, radishes, chorizo, chickpeas and salsa verde for its first course; garden greens, asparagus, artichokes, red onion chutney, sweetbreads and whole grain mustard for its salad course; pork tenderloin, pork cheeks, carrots, peas and morels, potato block, rutabaga and peaches for its entree; and for dessert, lemon curd, poppy seed cake, a selection of strawberries and a caramel ice cream sandwich.

On the second day, teams presented a cold buffet platter for eight and three plated desserts, presented cold. The Oregon team was selected for superior performance and score as well as work habits, ability to be a team player, past experience and temperament.

Posted on 9/2/10.