Friday, January 20, 2012

S Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition

As promised... here are all the details about the 2012 S Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef cooking competition that brings together students from 73 culinary institutions across the United States and Canada. During the competition they battle for a chance to compete and be judged by nationally renowned chefs at the finals competition in Napa this March.   It sounds like a fantastic opportunity for budding chefs and naturally I have to share the four Canadian schools participating this year... which is the TENTH year of the competition.  

From the S Pellegrino Press Kit...
"Each school selects two students and the competition holds both a regional and finals competition. The 10 regional events bring together diverse culinary schools from a single region to compete for one winning spot to represent that region at the finals event.  All regional competitions are held approximately 30 days prior to the finals event. The finals competition takes place in March in Napa Valley, CA, where all 10 regional winners compete for the coveted S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef title."   
 And if you're a fan of Iron Chef competitions, this one will be just as intense!
  • Two hours to prepare 8 servings ( 7 for the Judges & one for display)
  • Judges in the kitchen while the contestants prepare their dishes ... talking and watching
  • Presentations of the dish to the judging panel, who will evaluate on kitchen, chef and personal impact & presence skills
... Wow!  I need a cigarette and I haven't smoked in 25 years!

The Canadian Regional Event will be held at the Calphalon Culinary Center in Toronto on January 30th and I will keep you posted, but I'm sure you're interested in the prizes....

Each regional winner (there are 10 regions in total and all of Canada makes up just one region... only Canadians will find that strange) will receive a gift of appreciation from participating sponsors, including chef ware from Chef Revival.and all expenses paid trip to California for the finals in March (along with one-on-one sessions with the judges & media training... rock stars in the making!)

Then there are the finals....
Three competitions : Mystery Basket, Signature Dish and People's Choice:
  •  The Mystery Basket Competition is a two-hour task to prepare an entrée with provided ingredients.
  •  The Signature Dish Competition is a duplicate of the recipe; however, this time it is prepared for up to 200 distinguished guests.
  •  In the People's Choice Competition, distinguished guest attendees vote on their favorite student dish
The winning prizes:
  •    The Mystery Basket Winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
  •    The Signature Dish Winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
  •    The People’s Choice Winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
  •    Acqua Panna Fan Favorite Award Winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize.
   The overall S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition Winner will win...
  •    A $10,000 cash prize
  •     An offer of a position to work for a nationally recognized chef for one year
  •     Media tours, interviews and various other public appearances around the U.S. and Canada    
And I get the opportunity to interview one of the Canadian contestants and some of the award winning recipes after the competition, of course.    Stay tuned. 

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