Team will vie for second national title in Orlando this August.
A-B Tech Community College’s Student Culinary Team will travel to national competition after winning the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Southeast Regional Competition January 13 in Roanoke, Va.
Teams from A-B Tech have won 20 state titles since 1996, received the Southeast Regional Title a record 11 times, and were named National Champions in 2007. No other team in the country has earned more appearances in the culinary finals.
Team members Jamie Canton, Susan Wiley, Abigail Coniguliaro, Cheyane Verran, and Captain Brandon Kastelic, will spend the next six months practicing for the competition, which is held during the ACF’s national convention, August 4-8 in Orlando, Fla.
In addition to the team’s win, student Uriah Standish won second place in the Southeast Student Chef of the Year contest during the regionals. Team coaches are Chefs Bronwen McCormick and Chris Bugher, CEC.
“I am so proud of our team for winning the Southeast Regional competition,” said Chef Bugher. “They have worked countless hours outside of their already busy schedule to make sure they were prepared. Now we have to focus on Nationals.”
Team captain Kastelic had a bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance before coming to A-B Tech. “After a string of various jobs, I decided that I wanted to pursue my passion and do something that I actually enjoy,” he said. “That is what led me to enroll in A-B Tech’s Culinary Program. Being on the team has changed me in a lot of ways. It has made me more organized, more efficient as a cook, broadened my culinary knowledge, and has made me faster.”
“We could not be more proud of these student chefs. In addition, to taking full course loads, they have been practicing tirelessly for months in preparation. Their chef instructors have putting an enormous effort to put together a world-class competition team that underscores the excellence of these programs,” said Culinary and Hospitality Chair Cathy Strohm-Horton.
The ACF student team championship requires teams to prepare a classic dish as part of their menu as prescribed by Auguste Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire. At the National Convention, all teams will be required to prepare a modern version of Sole Veronique as their appetizer. They will complete the menu with a salad, entrée, and dessert. They will also be required to create an edible cold platter.
About A-B Tech
One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 60 curriculum programs through its six academic divisions: Allied Health, Academic Success and Public Service, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for workforce partnerships, specific job training and retraining, as well as personal enrichment classes. A-B Tech enrolls more than 25,000 curriculum and continuing education students in programs at its Asheville, Enka, Madison, South, Woodfin and Goodwill locations.