Small Bites: A-B Tech’s culinary program shines again

On the move: Danny Schwalje, left, a member of the student team from A-B Tech, tries to beat the clock in the 2011 American Culinary Federation National Student Team Championship in Dallas, July 25. Courtesy of the American Culinary Federation

A-B Tech’s culinary chops have never been in doubt, and the school has, once again, come away from a national-level cooking contest with high honors.

The WNC Culinary Association, a team composed of students from A-B Tech’s culinary program, took home a silver medal from the American Culinary Federation‘s Student Team Championship. The contest was hosted at the ACF’s 2011 National Convention, held in Dallas, Texas, this year. All competing culinary teams passed through a series of state and regional competitions to land themselves in the Dallas challenge.

As part of the competition, teams prepared a four-course signature menu, with 24 portions of each course served to the judges. Teams had little more than three hours to prep and cook, and 60 minutes to plate and serve.

The ACF Student Team Championship, established in 1992, is designed to raise the standards of culinary excellence and professionalism among students, promote camaraderie and educational opportunities, and act as a staging area for research and development of culinary concepts.

At the regional awards ceremony, the WNC Culinary Association received $1,000 from the American Academy of Chefs, ACF’s honor society, to assist them with travel expenses. In addition, the team received $1,100 and financial support for convention registration from R.L. Schreiber, Inc.

Team members were: Sidney Ann Caton, Stephen Hertz, John “Danny” Schwalje (team captain), Jonathan Zetterholm and Tracy Williams. Charles deVries is the team’s coach.

Congratulations to the team. Learn more at

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