Le Cordon Bleu student chefs compete in national culinary competition

Culinary fame may still be a dream for most culinary students, but three students from Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America affiliated schools got a taste of success as they competed in the finals of the fifth annual San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition held in Napa Valley from October 27 – 30.

Student chefs Tom Lonardo from Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Sakikio Tani from California Culinary Academy and Pidor Kem from California School of Culinary Arts, battled each other and seven other culinary students from across the country for the title of San Pellegrino’s 2006 Almost Famous Chef. All three schools are affiliates of the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, a division of Career Education Corporation. Although none of the Le Cordon Bleu Program students won the grand prize, each student chef proved their culinary skills by winning their regional contests earlier this fall.

“I am so proud of these three student chefs for making it to the finals,” said Kirk T. Bachmann, vice president of education and corporate executive chef for the Le Cordon Bleu Schools in North America. “The students’ ability to not only compete, but to excel in prestigious culinary competitions such as this is a testament to the caliber of education we strive to provide at all of our Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America affiliated campuses,” Bachmann said.

The Almost Famous Chef finals lasted four hours, and consisted of two separate contests: a market basket competition and signature dish competition. During the market basket competition, the student chefs received a basket containing two main ingredients and several secondary ingredients unknown to them beforehand. Each competitor had to use all ingredients given to them to create their dish during the first two hours. The signature dish competition, held during the second half, required the chefs to complete 200 plated tasting portions of a dish already determined. At the end of the contest, the student chefs were judged by a panel of seasoned culinary professionals on their kitchen expertise, the taste of their dishes, and their star power. The winner of the contest received $1,000, a one-year media tour, and the title of San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef.

About Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America
Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America is the largest provider of quality culinary arts education. Few institutions possess the distinguished reputation of Le Cordon Bleu, which established its first culinary school in Paris in 1895. Today, Le Cordon Bleu operates schools in London, Tokyo, Ottawa and Sydney in addition to its Paris location, and offers programs in Australia, Mexico and Brazil. There are currently 13 schools in the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America network, offering programs in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie & Baking, and Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality & Restaurant Management. For more information, visit http://www.lecordonbleuschoolsusa.com/.

About Career Education Corporation
The colleges, schools and universities that are part of the Career Education Corporation (CEC) family offer high quality education to approximately 100,000 students across the world in a variety of career-oriented disciplines. The 80-plus campuses that serve these students are located throughout the U. S., Canada, France, and the United Kingdom, and offer doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees and diploma and certificate programs. Many students attend the fully online educational platforms offered by American InterContinental University Online and Colorado Technical University Online.

Career Education is an industry leader whose gold-standard brands are recognized globally. Those brands include, among others, Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America; Harrington College of Design; Brooks Institute of Photography; the Katharine Gibbs Schools; American InterContinental University; Colorado Technical University and Sanford-Brown Institutes and Colleges. The mission of CEC, through its schools, its educators, and its employees is education — their primary goal, to enable students to graduate successfully and pursue rewarding careers.

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