ACF Culinary Team USA 2004 Logo Press Release

Team USA Finalists Race for the Finish Line

St. Augustine, Fla., March 22, 2002—Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC, national president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and manager of ACF Culinary Team USA 2004, is another step closer to naming the team that will represent the United States in national and international culinary competition over the next few years.

Fourteen chefs survived the rigors of preliminary tryouts and earned the right to compete in the final tryout May 19–21 hosted by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) at the NRA Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. ACF Culinary Team USA 2004 will have 10 team members—five national, four regional, and an alternate.

The finalists are: Darrin Aoyama, Pearland, Texas; Joachim Buchner, CMC, Silver Spring, Md.; James Decker, CEC, Columbus, Ohio; Diane Dougherty, CCC, Fairway, Kan.; Scott Fetty, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Jud Flynn, CEC, Blacksburg, Va.; Jamie Keating, CCC, LaGrange, Ga.; Patricia Nash, Ocean City, N.J.; Craig Peterson, Birmingham, Ala.; Richard Rosendale, CC, White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.; Michael Russell, CMC, Rochester Hills, Mich.; Daniel Scannell, CEC, Mendon, N.Y.; Russell Scott, CMC, Tivoli, N.Y.; and Kevin Zink, CCC, Pearland, Texas.

Chefs competed in preliminary tryouts held during February and March at Elgin Community College in Chicago, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Johnson & Wales University in Denver, and Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky. They spent two days on site preparing hot and cold food, a five-course dinner, and desserts.

After the final tryout at the NRA show, Chef Leonard and his coaches—Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, Keith Coughenour, CEC, and Thomas Vaccaro, CEPC—will determine who among the final tryout competitors will become members of ACF Culinary Team USA 2004. Chef Leonard will announce the team at an awards reception that will be held 5–7 p.m. May 21 in the Vista Room, South Building, McCormick Place.

High Noon Productions, under a contract with the Food Network, will complete filming of a one-hour special on the tryouts for Team USA at the NRA show. The special is one of six segments on culinary events that the company is filming for the network. High Noon Productions began filming the Team USA segment at the tryouts held at Johnson & Wales University’s Denver campus in March.

ACF Culinary Team USA 2004 will compete nationally and internationally over the next few years, culminating in the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), or International Culinary Olympics, in Germany in 2004. Every four years, IKA pits teams of talented chefs against their culinary counterparts from around the world.

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The American Culinary Federation, Inc., a professional, not-for-profit organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs organizations: the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club, and the Chefs Association of America. The principal goal of the founding chefs remains true to the ACF today—to promote the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education among culinarians at all levels, from apprentices to the most accomplished Certified Master Chefs.

The ACF Culinary Team USA 2004 logo was developed by Lord, Sullivan & Yoder.