The American Culinary Federation’s Team USA earned gold in the Hot Food competition and the Cold Food competition at the “Culinary Olympics” from Oct. 22 – 25 in Erfurt, Germany. The team also won the overall gold for Cold Food.
Electrolux Professional corporate executive chef Corey Siegel and Myers Park Country Club executive chef Jason Hall spoke with WCNC, the NBC station in Charlotte, North Carolina, about being part of Team USA and the wins in Erfurt.
Electrolux Professional was one of the sponsors for the 2016 ACF Culinary Team USA.
“It’s a huge honor because we’re not only representing Charlotte and our places of work, but 18,000 members of the American Culinary Federation,” Hall told WCNC.
Siegel told WCNC that the biggest challenge they faced was staying perfect on every dish. Click here to read WCNC’s story.
Singapore, Finland and Switzerland – three national culinary teams also sponsored by Electrolux Professional – took the top three podium place. Team USA came in fourth overall.
U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command earned bronze for community catering.
The Youth Team USA won a silver medal in edible buffet.
IKA, held every four years, is the largest international professional competition for chefs, cooks and pastry chefs.
More than 2,000 chefs representing more than 50 nations are expected to participate, turning the Erfurt exhibition halls into the largest restaurant in the world.
“These chefs have proven themselves extremely talented at their craft and represent the best in the industry,” said ACF national president Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC. “We are proud of their commitment to the profession, their dedication to the art of cooking and we hope that others are inspired by their depth of knowledge, hard work and creativity.”
Preparation begins four years in advance. Chefs from across the nation compete to earn a spot on one of the U.S. teams. Each chef must demonstrate exceptional skills in hot-food and cold-food disciplines.
Once the teams are assembled, the practice schedules are intense, including monthly sessions with practice days that can average 20 hours.
To learn more about the U.S. teams, visit the ACF Culinary Team USA website.
ACF Culinary National Team USA members
- Ben Grupe team captain, executive chef, Elaia and Olio, St. Louis, Missouri
- Joseph Albertelli executive chef, Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York
- George Castaneda CEC, executive chef, Sodexo Corporate Services’ Healthways World Headquarters, Franklin, Tennessee
- Andy Chlebana CEPC, culinary arts/pastry professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois
- Jason Hall CMC, executive chef, Myers Park Country Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Susan Notter CEPC, pastry arts program director, The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Matthew Seasock CEC, executive chef, Northwood Club, Dallas, Texas
- Corey Siegel CEC, corporate executive chef, Electrolux Professional, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Steve Jilleba CMC, CCE, AAC, team business manager, senior corporate executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions, Lisle, Illinois
- Joseph Leonardi CEC, team manager, executive chef, Somerset Club, Boston, Massachusetts
- Daniel Hugelier CMC, team advisor, owner, WildSeason, Livonia, Michigan
- Timothy Prefontaine CEC, team coach, executive chef, The Fort Worth Club, Fort Worth, Texas
ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members
- Jesus Olmedo youth team captain, chef de tournant, The Country Club, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
- Megan Bamford pastry cook, Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, Virginia
- Anica Hosticka apprentice, ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks Apprenticeship Program, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
- Tracy Morris pastry cook, Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland
- Marco Olivares executive sous chef, El Paso Country Club, El Paso, Texas
- Lydia Ross CSC, demi chef, Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland
- Shawn Culp CEC, MBA, youth team coach, culinary arts department chair, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Stafford DeCambra CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, youth team manager, Atmore, Alabama
United States Army Culinary Arts Team members
- Master Chief Derrick Davenport CEC, CEPC, CCE, MBA, team captain, U.S. Navy, Alexandria, Virginia
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 J.D. Ward CEC, U.S. Army, Richmond, Virginia
- Staff Sgt. Kevin Arwood CEC, U.S. Army, Aiea, Hawaii
- Staff Sgt. Lagena Boggs CC, CWPC, U.S. Army, Prince George, Virginia
- Staff Sgt. John Densham U.S. Army, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia
- Staff Sgt. Sarah Deckert CEC, U.S. Army, Beaverton, Oregon
- Staff Sgt. Justin Gonzalez CC, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
- Sgt. Joseph Hale CCC, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.
- Spc. Symone Harden U.S. Army, Ft. Stewart, Georgia
- Sgt. Erica Larsen U.S. Army, Fayetteville, North Carolina
- Spc. Sandra Quinones U.S. Army, Tacoma, Washington
- Staff Sgt. Marc Susa U.S. Army, Oxon Hill, Maryland
- Chief Petty Officer Matthew Susienka CEC, U.S. Navy, Bristol, Wisconsin
- Michael Matarazzo CEC, team adviser, Charlottesville, Virginia