Actress Lorraine Bracco and Top Chef Winner Harold Dieterle to Host 6th Annual S.Pellegrino(TM) Almost Famous Chef(SM) Competition

Top culinary students prepare to compete for the chance to win $10,000 and

the career opportunity of a lifetime

Dec 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from S.Pellegrino

    GREENWICH, Conn., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The search for the next big
 culinary star is under way, with more than 60 culinary students sharpening
 their knives in hopes of making it to the finals competition in Napa
 Valley. The 2008 S.Pellegrino(TM) Almost Famous Chef(SM) Competition kicks
 off its 6th year by partnering with more than 30 of the top culinary
 schools in the United States and Canada, giving participating students the
 rare opportunity to compete against one another in 10 regional competitions
 and the chance to prepare their respective winning signature dishes for an
 esteemed panel of chef and media judges.
     Winners from the regional competitions will be flown to the finals
 event at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley,
 Calif., taking place March 7-10, 2008, where they will compete in three
 categories: the Harvest Mystery Basket, Signature Dish and People's Choice
 Tasting Gala. Individual winners from each competition will receive a cash
 prize and the opportunity to apprentice at a world-renowned restaurant. The
 overall winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize as well as a year-long job
 opportunity to work with a nationally recognized chef.
     To continue the passion and excitement of the Almost Famous Chef
 Competition, S.Pellegrino will team up with Bravo(R) Top Chef winner Harold
 Dieterle, chef/owner of Perilla restaurant in New York, along with
 award-winning actress, famous for her role on The Sopranos on HBO(R),
 Lorraine Bracco, president of Bracco Wines. Dieterle, who will serve as the
 master of ceremonies and celebrity chef at the finals competition in Napa
 Valley, will also host the Northeast regional event being held at the
 Institute of Culinary Education in February. Bracco will co-host the
 People's Choice Tasting Gala along with Dieterle to announce the 2008
 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef winner.
     "The restaurant industry has all the qualities of a real-life
 competition," says Harold Dieterle. "Almost Famous sets up these young
 chefs to feel comfortable and thrive in these high-pressure situations,
 which is why so many of the students leave the competition and go on to
 work for some of the best restaurants in the country."
     Ranbir Batra, winner of the 2006 Almost Famous Chef Competition,
 credits the competition with the jump-start of his career. "The Almost
 Famous Chef Competition provided me with an experience that I will never
 forget. Working alongside chefs like Sara Moulton and Victor Scargle was an
 experience that none of us would have received in class," he says. "The
 career opportunities that were presented to me after winning would have
 taken me years to get on my own, and I am very grateful to S.Pellegrino for
 the opportunity."
     About S.Pellegrino
     The #1 sparkling mineral water brand in fine dining restaurants,
 S.Pellegrino(R) Sparkling Natural Mineral Water has been appreciated as the
 perfect meal accompaniment since its discovery in the 13th century. High in
 the mountains north of Milan, the waters rise from an underground aquifer,
 where 14 distinct minerals in the limestone and volcanic rock impart a
 unique flavor. Lightly carbonated, S.Pellegrino is the ideal complement to
 every dining experience. For more information on S.Pellegrino, visit or

SOURCE S.Pellegrino