#1254 | February 14, 2012
Culinary Students Selected to Compete in Southeast Regional for S. Pellegrino’s Almost Famous Chef Competition
SAVANNAH –Savannah Technical College culinary arts students Reina Shanks and Victoria Weygand have been selected by local panel of judges to compete for the opportunity of a lifetime in the S.PellegrinoTM Almost Famous ChefSM Competition.
Shanks and Weygand will proceed to the Southeast Regional Competition in Atlanta, Ga., on February 21, 2012. Second-year culinary STC students who maintain a 3.5 grade point average were eligible to participate.
“We have very high expectations for our students, which prepares them for success,” said Chef Jean Yves Vendeville, STC’s department head and instructor for the Culinary Institute of Savannah. “On my first day at Savannah Tech, I promised my students the best education and highest standards possible, and we haven’t looked back.”
Shanks will prepare rack of lamb with lingonberry pan sauce along with a fried goat cheese and nutmeg polenta cake with fried sage, sautéed golden beets, Swiss chard, oyster mushrooms, pearl onions and spiced pecans. Weygand will prepare Veal Normandy with purple garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed Swiss chard and apples with a Calvados cream sauce.
“We take pride in what we do. Every single part of every dish has been tested and critiqued all the way,” said Chef Vendeville. “Our students produce beautiful works of art. I invite my students to move all the way up with me, and they follow.”
Shanks works as a line cook at her family’s restaurant, Bella’s Italian Café, where she developed a love of cooking. “Before school, I always knew I wanted to cook and loved preparing food for other people,” said Shanks. “Now that I have been trained as a culinary professional and have honed my skills, so many doors have been opened.”
Shanks plans to earn continued degrees to teach culinary. “Growing up in a restaurant, I always enjoyed cooking. But, I never thought it would lead me to this point. I have so many exciting opportunities in my future.”
Weygand was recently named the Low Country Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) 2012 Student Chef of the Year. She won best dessert at 2012 Battle of the Bakers, a benefit event for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire. Her team also won first place with “Jack’s Christmas” at the Westin 2011 Gingerbread Village Competition.
Weygand has known since she was seven years old that she wanted to be a chef. “I have always loved cooking and the art in cooking,” said Weygand. “Through training and practice, I am nearing my dream of opening my own restaurant. I greet every new challenge with open arms.”
In celebration of its 10th year, the Almost Famous ChefSM Competition will bring back all nine of the past winners to the finals event on March 9-12, 2012, at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, Calif. Past winners will work alongside the esteemed judge panel to mentor the 10 finalists throughout the three days of fierce competition. All finals competitors will be evaluated in three competition categories: the Mystery Basket, Signature Dish and People’s Choice. Students will be critiqued on taste, texture and aroma of the dish, presentation, kitchen skills and the ability to perform under pressure. The overall winner will take the title, up to $22,000 in prizes and a career-changing apprenticeship with a master chef.
The first competition of its kind, the Almost Famous ChefSM Competition gives student chefs the opportunity to experience their first heated culinary competition and be mentored by some of the biggest names in the culinary world.
Almost Famous ChefSM Competition was founded as a mentoring program that connects top culinary students with established chefs and influential media. Since then, this program has helped to launch hundreds of culinary careers and refined the skills of a new generation of chefs. Through the competition, student chefs are given the opportunity to gain unmatched experience, while cooking in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world. For more information, visit http://www.almostfamouschef.com/.
The Culinary Institute of Savannah offers ACF-accredited diploma and degree programs in culinary arts and has been described as the “best in the U.S.A” by its ACF accreditation review board. Under the leadership of Chef Vendeville, student teams have won two consecutive ACF Southeast Regional Championships – in 2010 in the Hot Food Team competition and in 2011 in the Knowledge Bowl competition. There are more than 200 enrolled in the program, which opened a second teaching kitchen in Effingham, Ga.
Savannah Technical College serves coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Savannah, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 4,500 credit students each semester, Savannah Tech offers nearly 100 different instructional programs in Business and Technology, Public Service, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry. The College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree.
For More Information Contact:
Amy Shaffer, APR
Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.
Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).