Ashley Sweeney and Josh Page, recent A-B Tech Community College Culinary Arts graduates, both won gold medals at the North Carolina American Culinary Federation state conference in Winston-Salem October 13 during individual competitions.
Page won a gold medal in the Cold Food platter competition and Sweeney won gold in the Sweet Potato hot food competition. Sweeney was also selected as the N.C. Student Chef of the Year. She can compete at the Southeast regional competition in April and then for the National Student Chef of the Year. Both graduates were members of the 2013 Student Hot Food team that won gold medals at the state and regional level and won second place at the National American Culinary Competition in Las Vegas.
“The faculty has been supportive of Ashley and Josh since the day the students said they wanted to compete. These students are amazing competitors, highly motivated, professional and appropriate to the nth degree and very respectful of all that they have gained from their chefs and A-B Tech,” said Chef Sheila Tillman, Hospitality Education Associate Dean at A-B Tech.
I had the pleasure of working with both students as they prepared for this competition. Their drive and professionalism was truly remarkable. I’m very excited to see how they progress beyond culinary school and come in to their own as chefs,” said Chef Michelle Kelley, Culinary Arts Instructor.
Judges told Page and Sweeney that they were ready to start competing as professionals, according to Chef Matt Tracy, Culinary Arts Chair, who was at the competition.
“They had the cleanest stations, the best-pressed uniforms, the best appearance, best attitudes and were very respectful of the judges,” said Tracy. “They were both taking notes during critique and asked relevant questions as to how to improve next time.”
About A-B Tech Community College
One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas or certificates in more 50 curriculum programs through its five academic divisions – Allied Health and Public Service Education, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality Education, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for specific job training and retraining and personal enrichment classes.
A-B Tech enrolls nearly 27,000 curriculum and continuing education students, and an estimated one in four Buncombe and Madison residents has attended a class at the College.