Press Release

International Culinary Showcase on Tap at May’s NRA Show

Culinary Champions Converge on Chicago for the Most Prestigious Cooking Competition in the Western Hemisphere

St. Augustine, Fla., April 17, 2003—Eleven teams of chefs representing their countries’ takes on contemporary cuisine will converge on McCormick Place in Chicago, May 17–20, to compete in the American Culinary Classic during the 84th-annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

The American Culinary Classic, held every four years, is produced, managed and sponsored by the NRA in association with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and is sanctioned by the 75-nation World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) based in Frankfurt, Germany.

ACF Culinary Team USA will represent the United States in the only WACS-sanctioned competition on American soil. The American Culinary Classic is a springboard for teams from around the world to better prepare themselves for the most prestigious culinary competition in the world—the quadrennial Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung in Erfurt, Germany, in October 2004, which will play host to some 30 nations’ culinary teams to determine a World Champion in cooking.

“The growth of international culinary competitions has resulted in an extraordinary sharing of knowledge and the creation of fraternal friendships, which is evident in The American Culinary Classic,” says chef Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC, president of ACF and manager of ACF Culinary Team USA. “The ACF and the National Restaurant Association have worked together to bring this first-class competition to the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show for all to enjoy, and we are pleased and honored to be a part of this prestigious culinary event.”

At the last American Culinary Classic, in 1999, ACF Culinary Team USA won the bronze medal, with Switzerland and Canada taking silver and gold, respectively. Says Leonard, all eyes will be on the team representing the United States to see if it can best its 1999 showing.

In addition to Leonard, members of ACF Culinary Team USA are: Joachim Buchner, CMC, of Chevy Chase Club in Chevy Chase, Md.; Richard Rosendale, CMC, of The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; Daniel Scannell, CEC, of Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.; Russell Scott, CMC, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.; Patricia Nash of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.; and James Decker, CEC, of The Lakes Golf and Country Club in Westerville, Ohio.

For the hot-food segment of the American Culinary Classic, each six-member team will have five hours to produce and serve 85 portions of a three-course meal that features a seafood appetizer, main course with appropriate accompaniments and dessert. (Tickets to sample teams’ hot-food entries, at $35 each, will be on sale to NRA Show attendees at noon each day outside the competition arena on the third level of McCormick Place South.) The cold-food segment of the competition includes finger foods; starters; meat, poultry or fish; a three-course meal including dessert; a vegetarian restaurant platter; a tasting menu; and desserts. Judging begins at noon daily, and culminates in an awards ceremony at the end of the day on Tuesday, May 20.

Competition Schedule
  Hot Cold
Saturday, May 17  Bahamas
Italy
UK
Canada
Germany
Scotland
Sunday, May 18 Finland
South Africa 
Wales
Portugal
USA
Monday, May 19 Canada
Germany
Scotland
Bahamas
Italy
UK
Tuesday, May 20 Portugal
USA
Finland
South Africa
Wales

Coinciding with the American Culinary Classic, an ACF-sanctioned culinary-arts salon at McCormick Place will allow teams of chefs and students to compete for ACF medals according to ACF’s recently updated guidelines for culinary and pastry competition. Competition will involve cold food (display) only, and one winner for best presentation will be announced each day of the NRA Show.

For more information on the American Culinary Classic at this year’s NRA Show, contact the National Restaurant Association at (312) 853-2525 or visit www.restaurants.org; or contact event coordinator Michel Bouit at The World of MBI, (312) 663-5701, e-mail mbi@worldofmbi.com, or visit www.worldofmbi.com.

Founded in 1929, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the largest organization of professional cooks in the world. ACF sets and upholds the highest standards of professional cooking in the nation, and in so doing, makes a positive difference for culinarians internationally through education while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere.

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