OCC Culinary Team National Competition Results

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The Orange Coast College 2017-2018 Hot Food Team earned a Silver Medal and 2nd place finish at the American Culinary Federation’s National Student Team Championships held at the Cook, Craft Create National Convention in New Orleans on Jul 17,18th. The results were announced at the President’s Ball help on July 19. The team earned an overall score of 89.38 points.

The members of the team are April Thompson of Tustin, Maribel Araiza of Santa Ana, Phan Dzu “Louis” Tran of Aliso Viejo, Anthony Bonneville of Temecula and Tony Nguyen of Anaheim. Team coaches are OCC Culinary graduates and former team members Annette Alvarado and Lauren Lopez both of Santa Ana. The team is managed and lead by OCC’s Program Coordinator of Culinary Arts, Bill Barber, CEC. The team also had help from OCC Culinary students Diana Salazar and Dave Denina as Team Support.

The team was competing against three other regional winners and a military team.

1st – place (Central Region) Fox Valley Technical College, gold medal

2nd – place (Western Region) OCC Culinary, silver medal

3rd – place (Northeast Region) Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College- silver medal

4th – place (Southeast Region) Alamance County College- silver medal

5th – place US Coast Guard (Military) Bronze

Medals are awarded on a points basis, with the top point earner garnering first place

“This team is a high GOLD in my book,” said Chef Barber, “no matter the final outcome, the whole team worked very hard, formed lasting relationships, learned a TON and had a competition experience they will never forget. They all represented the OCC Culinary program with professionalism and a stellar performance, both in and out of the kitchen.”

The National competition requires the teams to present an edible cold platter based on 5 “market- basket” ingredients (Duck, Prosciutto, Dried Apricots, Dried Shitake Mushrooms and Pistachios). Teams have 5 hours on the first day and then come back the second day for an additional three hours of preparation and presentation time for the platter. After a 20-minute break they cook their signature four course meal in 90 minutes. Teams are scrutinized by a panel of A.C.F. certified judges during the entire time they are in the kitchen. The days of the competition students are exposed to networking with other students and get to receive feedback from highly accomplished chefs.

While attending the convention (before and after the competition) team members were able to attend motivational key note speaker events and educational seminars. OCC visiting scholar, Chef John Folse and celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto, were among the most notable.

For the past 25 years, OCC Culinary has put forth student Hot Food Teams, winning the Western Region a total of 9 times over the years and one National Title in 2005.

Find more and support the OCC Culinary Program at orangecoastcollege.edu

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