The A-B Tech Community College Culinary student team won second place and earned a silver medal during nationals July 25 at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) competition in Las Vegas. A-B Tech earned the right to compete on the national level after winning Southeast Regional competition in March.
“The team was fantastic and they executed flawlessly. Competition on this level is so tight,” said team coach Chef Eric Backer. “The students are so proud, the department is proud and I am sure A-B Tech is proud of this team and the way they represented this school.”
The competition requires student teams to demonstrate butchery and knife skills, and create a four-course signature meal. A score between 40 and 36 is needed to earn a gold medal. A-B Tech received a score of 35.299. Joliet Junior College representing the Central Region won first place with a score of 35.651 – a difference of .352 between the two top spots. Also competing were Johnson & Wales team from the Northeast Region, Kapi’olani Community College representing the Western Region and the U.S. Army team from Fort Hood.
Competitors are judged on such criteria as the flavor, taste, texture and doneness of their foods; serving methods; portion sizes and creativity. Floor judges also evaluate their organization, sanitation, teamwork, workflow, and cooking techniques and knife skills. The A-B Tech team had the highest floor score in the competition.
Students on the team are Rita Sigman, Ashley Sweeney, Josh Page, Cassie Stockton and Kristin Allen. This was the sixth time in the past 10 years a team from A-B Tech has gone to national competition.