The Road to Gold: ACF Youth Team USA vs. Junior Culinary Team Canada

Huge congrats to ACF Culinary Youth Team USA and Junior Culinary Team Canada for their success in the Canada/USA Olympian Friendship Gala at Niagara College, Ontario, Canada, Jan. 6-10. Youth Team USA took home silver and Junior Team Canada garnered gold in the competition.

The two top youth culinary teams in North America participated in a friendly competition in order to practice techniques and prepare for the “culinary Olympics”, Oct. 25-29, in Erfurt, Germany.

“Our team members come from across the United States and we welcomed the opportunity to visit the home of Junior Culinary Team Canada,” said Kristyn Granahan, captain of ACF Culinary Youth Team USA. “Preparing for the ‘culinary Olympics’ with the Canadian team on their home turf and working alongside the team to prepare for a high-profile gala feast was a great way to begin our Olympic year.”

Both teams concluded the visit by preparing a six-course meal for a gala feast of champions held at the College’s NOTL Campus, Jan. 9. The sold-out dinner drew several dignitaries including U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman.


“It is a great source of pride for us to represent our country, and the fact that it opened the door for us to work alongside the top team from the United States on our own campus – in the spirit of learning and friendly competition – is a true honour,” said Ben Lillico, captain of Junior Culinary Team Canada. “Competition is a great way for us to enhance our skills and build on our learning experiences. We look forward to meeting them again in Germany.”


ACF Culinary Youth Team USA captain Kristyn Granahan accepts a welcome gift from Junior Culinary Team Canada captain Ben Lillico.

Each team was responsible for preparing alternate courses. The first, third and fifth courses were prepared by Youth Team USA and the second, fourth and sixth/dessert courses were made by Junior Team Canada. Both teams also prepared cold and hot hors d’oeuvres for the reception.

ACF Culinary Youth Team USA members competing, coached by Shawn Culp, CEC, MBA, were: Kristyn Granahan (captain), Jesus Olmedo, Tracy Morris, Megan Bamford, Lydia Ross and Marco Olivares.

View full photos from the event at Stafford DeCambra’s, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, ACF Youth Team USA manager, Facebook page here.

Help support ACF Culinary Team USA as they prepare to #GoForGold during the “culinary Olympics”at

Information for the event was sourced from Niagara College’s press release.

ACF Culinary Team USA: The Road to Gold

Competition Dates and Teams announced for the 2016 “culinary Olympics”

ACF Culinary Team USA 2016  is heading to Erfurt, Germany, and will compete against 31 other teams in the historic 2016 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA), Oct. 23 and 25, 2016.

The competition date draw has been completed and both U.S. teams, national and youth, will be competing in the hot-food kitchen Oct. 23 and displaying their cold-food program Oct. 25. View all teams and competition dates here.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Team’s next  practice will be held at Electrolux, Jan. 9-12, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The public is invited to attend and view the team’s latest work at the state-of-the-art Electrolux test kitchen facilities. Email Jayme Booth at jbooth(at) if you are interested in attending and have questions.

Other practices:
Turbochef Technologies, Inc., Carrollton, Texas, Feb. 7-10, 2016
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Illinois, March 4-8, 2016


Help support ACF Culinary Team USA on their journey to Germany! Consider hosting a fundraiser dinner at a country club or private dining facility. For more information and to learn about past events, contact ACF Culinary Team USA coordinator, Jayme Booth at jbooth(at)


ACF Culinary Team USA: The Road to Gold

ACF Culinary Team USA shares menu at exclusive dinner

Recently, ACF Culinary Team USA got out of the practice kitchen and into a working kitchen together to host a fundraiser at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team served their food to 80 diners who were eager to learn more about culinary competitions and be a part of a unique dining experience.

“As we develop our menu, we will be using these dishes for a competition session at the ‘culinary Olympics,’ says Joseph Leonardi, CEC, team manager. “Guests of our fundraiser events will experience  looks and tastes of the very menu that we are going to use to compete against 55 other nations in Germany in 2016.”

The seven course dinner was a compilation of dishes team members have been perfecting as they work toward a final menu for the “culinary Olympics” in Erfurt, Germany, October 2016. In addition, attendees were introduced to delicious Wisconsin cheese from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, one of the team’s sponsors.

2016 ACF Culinary Team USA Dinner at Myers Park Country Club Menu:

1st Course
Shawn Culp, CEC, MBA
Olive-cured Wild Mushroom and Vegetable Presse with Whipped Goat Cheese Truffle, Tomato Oil and Celery Salad

2nd Course
mAtt Seasock, CEC,
Slow-cooked Salmon with Caramelized Fennel Puree, Golden Beet Relish and Sauce Maltaise

3rd Course
Jason Hall, CMC
Glazed Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Dried Fruits, Parsnip Textures, Braised Belly and Sherry/Bacon Vinaigrette

4th Course
Ben Grupe
Horseradish-crusted Beef Strip Loin with Semolina Dumplings, Celery Root/Truffle Presse, Brussels Sprouts and Madeira Jus

5th Course
Wisconsin Cheese Dessert

6th Course
Megan Bamford and Tracy Morris
Creme Fraiche Cremeux with Red Currant Gelee, Apple Butter, Candied Pecans, Apple/Red Currant Sorbet and Brioche Donut

7th Course
Andy Chlebana, CEPC, CCA
Guianduja Bavarian, Compressed Pineapple, Chocolate Cake, Pineapple Sherbet and Citrus Coulis