ACF Culinary Team USA Has Stellar Performance at the "culinary Olympics" Placing in the Top 10 Overall and Garnering Gold and Silver Medals Against World's Best Chefs

Oct 19, 2012, 14:41 ET from The American Culinary Federation, Inc.

More Than 1,500 Chefs Representing 54 Countries Participated in Team and Individual Competitions

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ACF Culinary Team USA had a stellar performance at the 23rd annual Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) International Culinary Exhibition, commonly known as the "culinary Olympics," Oct. 5-10, in Erfurt, Germany. All ACF Culinary Team USA teams–national, military, regional and youth–finished in the top 10 with a medal count of two gold and five silver, proving American cuisine is among the best in the world.


"We are so proud of the more than 100 ACF members and the teams of ACF Culinary Team USA and their performance at the IKA. It takes an incredible amount of dedication and commitment to compete at the international level, and they willingly put forth an enormous effort and gave many months of their time to prepare to represent ACF and their country on the global stage. Thank you, ACF members and ACF Culinary Team USA. We salute you," said ACF National President Michael Ty, CEC, AAC. "We also thank our generous sponsors who believed in ACF Culinary Team USA and offered their unwavering support."

ACF Culinary National Team USA's interpretation of current American cuisine trends using American products earned the team a silver medal in the hot-food kitchen. In the cold-food presentation, the team received the second-highest score and a silver medal. Of the 32 national teams that competed, the team placed sixth overall in the world. Sweden, Norway and Germany placed first, second and third, respectively. 

ACF Culinary National Team USA members were:

  • Joseph Leonardi, CEC, of Plainville, Mass., team captain, executive chef, Somerset Club, Boston; ACF Rhode Island Chapter
  • Timothy Bucci, CEC, CCE, CHE, of Flossmoor, Ill., associate professor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill.; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter
  • Ben Grupe of St. Louis, sous chef, Old Warson Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.
  • Jennifer Kopp, CEPC, of North Bethesda, Md., pastry chef, Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.; ACF Nations Capital Chefs Association.
  • Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC, of Ballwin, Mo., executive chef, Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc.
  • Eddie Tancredi of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., sous chef, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs; ACF Columbus Chapter

"You strive for perfection and the national team got close. In the hot-food kitchen, we sometimes try to do too much. In cold food, only one gold medal was awarded in the national category, and we took silver, placing second," said ACF Culinary Team USA Manager Steve Jilleba, CMC, CCE, AAC, corporate executive chef, Unilever Food Solutions, Lisle, Ill. "Overall, the teams of ACF Culinary Team USA produced the food we wanted to show to the world, and I am proud of the efforts put forth by all the team members, support team and apprentices."

The military team, U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT), were strong in both the cold-food and hot kitchen. The team's impeccable cold-food display earned a gold medal, and its hot-kitchen presentation earned a silver medal. Overall, the team placed fourth following Switzerland, first; Great Britain, second; and Germany, third.

"USACAT performed exceptionally well, and I am so proud of our team's dedication and hard work," said USACAT Manager Chief Warrant Officer 4 Russell Campbell, CEC, chief, Advanced Food Service Training Division, U.S. Army. "USACAT is honored to be part of the bigger picture, ACF Culinary Team USA. Our teamwork, friendship and opportunities to share assets have been significant variables in our success."

U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team members were:

  • Sergeant First Class Steven Broome, CEC, of Miami, Fla., team captain, vice chief of staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
  • Staff Sergeant Billy Daugette of Huntsville, Texas, enlisted aide to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
  • Senior Chief Petty Officer Derrick Davenport, CEC, CEPC, of Detroit, enlisted aide to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Navy, Washington, D.C.
  • Sergeant Sarah Deckert, CEC, of Grand Junction, Colo., enlisted aide to the Surgeon General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
  • Sergeant First Class Motavia Alston, CEC, of Windsor, N.C., enlisted aide to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
  • Petty Officer 1st Class Ed Fuchs, CCC, of Omaha, Neb., Department of Homeland Security Executive Dining, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C.

ACF Culinary Regional Team USA's synergy and focus in the development of its cold-food display was rewarded with a silver medal. The team missed gold by only one point and placed fourth out of 46 teams. Only two gold medals were awarded in this event. Stockholm Culinary Team took first, Culinary Team Alberta, second, and Aargauer Cooking Guild, third.

ACF Culinary Regional Team USA members were:

  • John Reed, CEC, CCA, team captain, of Skokie, Ill., owner, Customized Culinary Solutions, Skokie; ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians Inc.
  • Brian Campbell, CEC, CCE, of Waxhaw, N.C., associate instructor, Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, N.C.; ACF North Carolina Chapter
  • Shawn Culp, CEC, of Bridgeville, Penn., culinary instructor, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh; ACF Pittsburgh Chapter
  • Adam Heath, CEC, of Houston, executive chef, The Forest Club, Houston; ACF Chattanooga Chefs & Cooks Association
  • Andreas Proisl, CEPC, of Orlando, Fla., executive pastry chef, Isleworth Country Club, Windermere, Fla.; ACF Central Florida Chapter

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA, all 25 years and younger per the rules, showed exceptional teamwork, vision and professionalism. The team was awarded a gold medal for its progressive hot-kitchen presentation and a silver medal in cold-food display. Overall, the youth team placed fifth out of 25 competing countries. Sweden, Norway and Switzerland placed first, second and third, respectively. 

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members, students at Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Ore., were:

  • Edalyn Garcia, team captain, of Coos Bay; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon
  • Laura Chandler of Bandon, Ore.; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon
  • Maddie Cutts of Coos Bay; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon
  • Reilly Meehan of Soquel, Calif.; ACF national member
  • Alfonso Mendoza of Coos Bay; ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon
  • Krista Nakamura of Maple Valley, Wash.; ACF Washington State Chefs Association

More than 1,500 chefs representing 54 countries participated in the IKA team and individual competitions. Founded in 1896, the IKA serves as a world-class venue for talented chefs from around the globe to showcase culinary skill and innovation. Similar to the traditional Olympic Games, which brings together the best athletes from around the world, the IKA is the single most elite competitive culinary event. Every four years, professional teams and individuals from around the world assemble in Erfurt, Germany, to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in several categories. The United States has participated in the "culinary Olympics" since 1956.

About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 20,000 members spanning more than 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef® and Certified Sous Chef™ designations the only culinary credentials accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit Find ACF on Facebook at and on Twitter @ACFChefs.

Editor's Note: For a high-res photo or to schedule an interview with a team member, contact Patricia Carroll at (904) 484-0247 or, or Justine Harris at (904) 484-0213 or

Media Contacts:
Patricia Carroll, Director of Communications
(904) 484-0247; 
Justine Harris, Communications Manager
(904) 484-0213,

SOURCE The American Culinary Federation, Inc.