Last night, ICE student Richard Chan competed in the tenth annual S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition. Eight students from the New York–area competed in the Northeast Regional yesterday at Astor Center. Each year, culinary students from schools across the US and Canada compete in a series of regional competitions for a chance to go to the finals in Napa Valley and take home a prize of $20,000 and a dream job.

ICE has been involved for the competition for many years in many different ways. ICE alum Joncarl Lachman (Culinary Arts ’02) won the top prize in the first competition in 2002. And this year, we even hosted a special dinner prepared by ICE Chef Instructor Chris Gesualdi for the team from S. Pellegrino the night before the competition. At the competition last night, ICE Director of Student Affairs Andy Gold accepted a special ICE Appreciation Award for being the only school to participate in the Northeast Regional Competition from the very beginning.

In addition to ICE student, Richard Chan, the students came from the French Culinary Institute, Culinary Institute of America and Lincoln Technical Institute. Judging were Chef Nick McCoy of KOI, Chef Massimo Carbone of Brio Restaurant New York City, Chef David Burke of David Burke Kitchen, Chef Matt Storch of Match Restaurant, Raquel Pelzel of Tasting Table, Arlyn Blake of The FOOD Calendar, Victoria Ruvolo Minchala of EatingVine.com and Yasmin Fahr of The Daily Meal.

Each student had two hours to prepare their dish before serving to the panel, as well as the guests in attendance. For the competition, Richard served his dish of Cold Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Glacage, Faro, Ham Hock and Roast Beet Salad with a Smoky Minted Pea Puree and Ham Hock Foam. In the end, it was an extremely close race.  While Richard didn’t take home the top prize, we are extremely proud of him and the dish he created. We’re already looking forward to next year!

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