Press Release

ACF Culinary Team USA Wins Gold Medal at World Cup Competition in Luxembourg

Team Also Takes Time Out to Help Prepare Thanksgiving Meal for Ambassador and Americans Abroad

Luxembourg, November 27, 2002—ACF (American Culinary Federation) Culinary Team USA, comprised of six American chefs, competed last week against national teams from around the world for the coveted Culinary World Cup. ACF Culinary Team USA received a gold medal for its cold food presentation and a silver medal for its three-course hot menu. In the final tally, ACF Culinary Team USA placed eighth overall out of 24 national teams.

The five-day competition took place at Expogast, an international gastronomy show held in Luxembourg every four years. This year’s event drew a record 38 countries and a crowd of 46,500.

“We did well considering the team has been together for only three months and had three practice sessions. We were extremely strong in cold food, but we needed a higher score in the hot kitchen to have a chance at the cup,” said Chef Edward Leonard, ACF Culinary Team USA captain and president of the American Culinary Federation.

Competing for the Unites States were:

  • ACF Culinary Team USA Captain: Chef Edward Leonard, CMC—Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.
  • Chef Joachim Buchner, CMC—Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.
  • Chef Richard Rosendale, CC—The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
  • Chef Daniel Scannell, CEC—Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Chef Russell Scott, CMC—Culinary Institute of America instructor, Hyde Park, N.Y.
  • Chef Darrin Aoyama (team pastry chef)—River Oaks Country Club, Houston, Texas
  • Team USA Sous Chef: Chef James Decker, CEC—The Lakes Golf and Country Club, Columbus, Ohio

ACF Culinary Team USA’s gold medal-winning cold food presentation included buffet platters, three- and five-course single servings, and desserts. The “Lobster and Salmon Together” platter featured Maine lobster and smoked salmon terrine; salmon loin, mussels and asparagus terrine; cucumber cups filled with gravlax, asparagus and citrus salad; celery and cream cheese mousse; and dilled carrots accompanied by lemon crème fraiche and melon vinaigrette. The centerpiece was an edible lobster carapace with delicate, decorative cutouts.

Also part of the cold food presentation was the “New England Grass Roots” luncheon featuring smoked scallop and potato terrine; stuffed tripe Yankee style; and apple bavarian with apple chip and cranberry spice essence. The “Hunters and Foragers Before the Frost” menu showcased seared liver and duck crackling; golden brook trout with caviar, artichoke and truffle ravioli; black walnut and golden beet terrine; wild boar chop with sweet potatoes, spinach purse, horseradish and quince custard; and a chocolate tartlet with raspberry cream and coulis.

Tropical-theme desserts surrounded a pulled-sugar arrangement of colorful Hawaiian flowers and a chocolate coral reef with a canoe and sea turtles. The Hawaiian Pacific celebration dessert platter featured mango bavarians, tropic fruit domes, coconuts filled with coconut ganache, and seashells of hibiscus jelly. A petit four platter of six varieties included miniature lemon lime leaves and guava and berry creams. Six plated desserts were also presented including the “Trilogy of Orange”—orange crème brulee, mandarin orange bavarian, orange and almond cake with droplets of mandarin orange and blood orange syrup.

In the hot food competition, ACF Culinary Team USA received a silver medal for its three-course menu. The starter was a vanilla-scented, butter-poached lobster tail with crispy fennel strudel and orange salad. The main entrée featured veal three times—braised veal tail crepe, savory tenderloin and mushroom ragout, and sweetbread sausage served on a bed of cabbage and apples. A strawberry and crème fraiche parfait with iced apricot coulis and mangos and buttery rugulach sticks completed the dinner.

ACF Culinary Team USA was assisted by four student apprentices from Ivy Tech State College in South Bend, Ind. The apprentices were runners-up in a national youth team competition held in July at the American Culinary Federation national convention.

After completing its winning cold food display, ACF Culinary Team USA came to the aid of an Italian hotel chef who was preparing his first Thanksgiving feast for a special American Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

According to Peter Terpeluk, Jr., American ambassador to Luxembourg, ACF Culinary Team USA turned out a first-rate Thanksgiving dinner that rivaled his mother’s, “even if lingonberries were substituted for cranberries.”

ACF Culinary Team USA first participated in the Culinary World Cup in 1982 and took home the top prize in both 1986 and 1990. The competition, which began in 1966, has grown to become the second most-significant chefs’ competition, rivaling the largest and oldest Ausstellung Kochkunst Internationale, commonly referred to as the “International Culinary Olympics,” in Germany.

The United States has competed in the IKA since 1956, and in October 2004 will once again head to Erfurt, Germany, for this renowned competition. ACF Culinary Team will also compete in the American Culinary Classic in Chicago in May 2003 against teams from 11 countries.

“We’ve got the key ingredients: a lot of synergy and the right mix of personalities and skills. Now we’ve got to refine the menu and practice, practice, practice,” said Chef Leonard. “We also need to line up some sponsors to help cover the cost of training and competition.”

Individuals or companies interested in sponsoring ACF Culinary Team USA should contact Michael Ty at or (702) 827-8654.

About the American Culinary Federation (ACF)
Founded in 1929, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the largest chefs’ organization in the United States. ACF’s goal is to make a positive difference for culinarians through education, apprenticeship, and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere. The ACF is also the official, sanctioned organization responsible for the selection and management of ACF Culinary Team, which represents the United States in the IKA. Visit for more information.

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Contact: Lisa R. Alessandro, APR
(800) 624-9458, ext. 103 or (904) 824-4468, ext. 103