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Culinary Team Wins Regional Competition
February 22, 2011
Continuing its tradition of excellence, the A-B Tech Hot Food Team won first place and a gold medal in the American Culinary Federation’s Student Team Southeast Regional Competition Feb. 21 in Atlanta, giving the team a shot at its second national title.
Keith Schwock, a 2010 A-B Tech Culinary Technology graduate, was named Regional Student Chef of the Year at the competition. Schwock is currently training under Master Chef Kevin Walker at the Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta where A-B Tech graduate and 2010 National Student Chef of the Year Daniel Gorman is a line cook.
A team from the College won the National Student Culinary Competition in 2007, and returned again in 2009 to earn a silver medal. Since 1997, A-B Tech teams have won 13 state and six regional titles. Team members will advance to the ACF national competition July 22-26 in Dallas.
"This is a very dedicated, hard-working team. They had a short period of time to prepare for this competition,” said team coach and Culinary Instructor Charles deVries. “They put in two practice sessions a week since September and the results show. We are very proud of their accomplishment and the level at which they performed. We look forward to the challenge ahead."
The team prepared a seared striped bass with fish consomme, mixed greens with a grilled radicchio roquefort pear tart, Poulet Saute a la Catalane, which all teams must prepare, and an Almond cake with pomegranate gelee and lemon sauce. Team members also had to prepare a cold food platter in addition to the hot food menu they made at state competition in November.
The four-course meal must be prepared in one and a half hours, then judges score teams on taste, presentation, timeliness, and accuracy. The team was also judged on their butchery skills. Gold medals are awarded for the number of points a team scores overall.
Danny Schwalje serves as team captain while each member prepares a course. Members are Jonathon Zetterholm (appetizer), Stephen Hertz (salad), Tracy Williams (entrée), and Sidney Ann Caton (dessert). Culinary Instructor/Chef Fred Snyder also serves as coach for the team.