ACF Culinary National Team USA, ACF Culinary Youth Team USA and United States Army Culinary Arts Team will represent the U.S. in the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung, to be held October 22-25 in Erfurt, Germany. Chefs from clubs including Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., The Fort Worth (Texas) Club and more are competing on the teams.
The American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) chef teams are preparing for the “culinary Olympics” in Erfurt, Germany, to be held October 22-25, with many club chefs represented. ACF Culinary National Team USA, ACF Culinary Youth Team USA and United States Army Culinary Arts Team will represent the U.S. in the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), commonly referred to as the “culinary Olympics.”
IKA is the largest international professional competition for chefs, cooks and pastry chefs. More than 2,000 chefs representing over 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 in rigorous tryouts to earn a coveted spot on one of the U.S. teams. Each chef must demonstrate exceptional skills in hot-food and cold-food disciplines. Once the U.S. teams are assembled, the practice schedules are comprehensive and intense, including monthly sessions with practice days that can average 20 hours.
“These chefs have elevated cooking to an art form and have the ability to create breathtaking culinary masterpieces in an extremely limited amount of time. They share a fierce passion for competing and are focused on bringing home the gold,” said Joseph Leonardi, CEC, ACF Culinary Team USA manager.
ACF Culinary National Team USA members from clubs include:
- Joseph Albertelli, Executive Chef, Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.
- Jason Hall, CMC, Executive Chef, Myers Park Country Club, Charlotte, N.C.
- Matthew Seasock, CEC, Executive Chef, Northwood Club, Dallas
- Joseph Leonardi, CEC, team manager, Executive Chef, Somerset Club, Boston
- Timothy Prefontaine, CEC, team coach, Executive Chef, The Fort Worth (Texas) Club
ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members from clubs include:
- Jesus Olmedo, youth team captain, chef de tournant, The Country Club, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
- Megan Bamford, pastry cook, Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, Va.
- Tracy Morris, pastry cook, Chevy Chase (Md.) Club
- Marco Olivares, Executive Sous Chef, El Paso (Texas) Country Club
- Lydia Ross, CSC, demi chef, Chevy Chase (Md.) Club
To learn more about the competition and how to support the U.S. teams, visit the ACF Culinary Team USA website.