One Step Closer to Selecting ACF Culinary Youth Team USA

Thirteen cooks have accepted the challenge and are trying out for a spot on 2016 ACF Culinary Youth Team USA. After the tryouts, five cooks and two alternates will be named to the youth team that will compete at the 2016 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung in Erfurt, Germany.

Candidates were chosen following a rigorous application process in which, for the first time, individuals were allowed to try out. Previously, culinary school teams tried out. To complete the application process, the chosen candidates will present a cold-food platter at their respective 2014 ACF regional conferences.

The tryout format change was made to allow every student ACF member who met the application criteria an opportunity to get involved, says J. Kevin Walker, CMC, AAC, ACF Culinary Youth Team USA manager. “We realize that this new format does present some challenges, but we feel that it gives us the best opportunity to include as many young members as possible in the process.”

The judges will be looking for more than technique and skill. “What is important is attitude, passion, energy and a willingness to learn,” says Walker. “The youth team is just that, a team, and we must make sure that all members understand that their success relies on everyone working together.”

Winners of the regional cold-food presentations will move on to the hot-food tryout at the 2014 ACF National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 25–29. Once members of the 2016 youth team are named, they can expect to join ACF Culinary National Team USA at practices in August and begin their quest for gold in 2016. Those trying out at their regional conferences are as follows.

ACF Western Regional Conference, Oakland, Calif., March 3

Daniel Acuna, CC, Megan Bamford, Alex Dispence, CC, and Joshua Page, line cooks at The Vintage Club, Indian Wells, Calif.; and Scott Seeberger and Trae Shriner, student ambassadors, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore.


Joshua Page (score: 36.75)

Megan Bamford (score: 35)
Daniel Acuna (score: 32.05)

Trea Shriner (score: 31.5)
Alex Dispence (score: 31)
Scott Seaberger (score: 30.75)

Central Regional Conference, St. Louis, March 17

Kristyn Jean Chatlosh, student, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.


Kristyn Jean Chatlosh (score: 36.66)

Northeast Regional Conference, Providence, R.I., April 12

Brett Brennan, CC, sous chef, Oshun, Buffalo, N.Y.; Tracy Morris, line cook at The Vintage Club, Indian Wells, Calif.; and Jesus Olmedo, line cook, Somerset Club, Boston


Tracy Morris (score: 33.5)
Jesus Olmedo (score: 33.5)

Brett Brennan (score 28)