The results are in, and the best young chef in all of the Americas is 23-year-old Atlanta resident Daniel Gorman, sous chef at Cherokee Town Club, Atlanta. Gorman received a gold medal and first place in the Hans Bueschkens World Junior Chefs Challenge semifinals for the Americas June 12 during the Canadian Culinary Federation’s 2011 National Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gorman now advances to the worldwide competition in South Korea in May 2012.
“I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Culinary Federation’s 2011 National Conference and watching Daniel in action,” said Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, American Culinary Federation (ACF) national president. “Daniel impressed the judges for his execution and professionalism. His dishes were outstanding, with a wonderful blend of flavors, and his dessert was terrific. We look forward to seeing him compete in South Korea.”
During the competition, junior chefs had four hours to produce eight portions of a three-course meal (appetizer, main course and dessert) featuring a list of required ingredients. A panel of judges evaluated contestants’ performance and menus and determined the winner. Canada placed second, earning a silver medal, and Chile placed third and took home a bronze medal.
Gorman’s menu focused on his own style of food, which he calls “New American with a focus on Southern cuisine.” Here is a look at his winning menu.
First course: Kobe flat iron steak with red onion jam, asparagus salad, herb yogurt and Parmesan lavosh
Second course: Buttermilk-braised halibut with pink-eyed pea cake, fava bean puree, corn relish and mustard gastrique
Third course: Strawberry cheesecake with a margarita cake inside, mint sauce, strawberry compote, and strawberry soda with sour strawberry “bubbles”
Gorman will be recognized as the winner June 15 during the President’s Ball at the close of the Canadian Culinary Federation’s National Conference, and will receive the Hans Bueschkens Memorial Trophy, a gold medal and a certificate. He will represent the Americas in the world finals at the WACS World Congress in Daejeon, South Korea, in May 2012. There, representatives from Africa/Middle East, the Americas, Asia, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe and the Pacific Rim will compete for the global title and the right to be called “best young cook in the world.”
Gorman, a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2007 graduate of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville, N.C., earned the right to represent the U.S. at the international level after winning the title of 2010 ACF Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc., in Anaheim, Calif., in August 2010. He is no stranger to competition, having served as a member of his school’s junior hot-food team. He was also Heather Hurlbert’s apprentice in the 2009 ACF Pastry Chef of the Year competition in Orlando, Fla., and apprentice for Russell Scott, CMC, WGMC, at the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) Global Chefs Challenge semifinals for the Americas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in September 2009. He is a member of ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter Inc. Leading up to the competition in Canada, Gorman practiced 30 hours a week, after working 50-hour weeks.
In January 2010 in Chile, Kansas native Kelly Conwell represented the Americas and ACF in the Hans Bueschkens World Junior Chefs Challenge, in which a young chef from Canada left with the championship. In May 2008 in Dubai, California native Keriann Von Raesfeld won first place in the inaugural Hans Bueschkens World Junior Chefs Challenge.