Friday, October 24, 2008

Cincy State Chefs Win Bronze at Culinary Olympics in Germany

Members of a team from the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College are heading home after capturing two medals at the “Culinary Olympics’’ in Erfurt, Germany this week.

Chef Alan Neace, a faculty member at the Midwest Culinary Institute, and Chef Greg Skibinski, an adjunct instructor at the institute, each won a bronze medal at the international competition.

The four-day event is formally known as the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (or IKA) International Culinary Art Competition. Like the sporting Olympics, it is held every four years. The Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung was founded in 1896. This year marked the 22nd IKA Olympics; organizers said 135 teams from more than 50 countries entered the 2008 competition.

The chefs were confronted with a variety of challenges in the various competitions, ranging from the preparation of full-course meals to the creation of extravagant dessert or fruit displays. Contestants were typically judged on such criteria as composition, presentation/innovation, professionally correct preparation and level of difficulty.

Neace and Skibinski were members of a team from the Midwest Culinary Institute that also included Chefs Rick Potter, Andrew Vogel and Brian Willis. The Kroger Company was a co-sponsor of the team.

Most team members were veterans of such international competitions.

Going in to this week’s Culinary Olympics in Germany, Neace, for example, already held one gold medal, along with four silvers and a bronze from internationally sanctioned competitions, along with 23 gold, silver and bronze medals from national competitions in the U.S.

“Everything I’ve learned since I started competing in 1991 – and everything I’ve learned by competing in 2008 at the International Culinary Olympics – comes back to enrich the learning experience of the students of the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State,’’ Neace said, in a posting to a blog that Vogel has been maintaining this week from Germany.

Skibinski, the executive chef at the Western Hills Country Club, and Potter, owner and executive chef of the Stringtown Bar & Grill in Florence, Ky. (and also an adjunct instructor at the Midwest Culinary Institute), are also veterans of national and international culinary competitions. Potter won a silver medal at the Culinary Olympics eight years ago.

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