Chef Bungenstock beat nearly 60 competitors from Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois to earn the top prize with a cold food pork platter that earned 38 out of a possible 40 points from the panel of judges.
Chef Bungenstock’s Heritage Barnyard Platter highlighted sustainable pastured pork. Judges praised his “exquisite” design, “exciting” colors, and “beautiful aspic work.” His menu included herb-infused pork loin wrapped in savoy cabbage, “tongue n’ cheek” pork in savory jelly, smoked suckling pig trotter, and tenderloin dry-cured with black pepper and Kentucky bourbon. Garnishes were a rich sweet potato and delicata squash mousse with a spiral of ancho crisp and vibrant green roasted Anaheim pepper on boursin cheese and saffron-poached potato. Overall, the effect demonstrated “an outstanding mastery of charcuterie,” said the lead judge.
“I’ve been working toward a ‘Category A’ gold medal in ACF competition for eight years,” said Chef Bungenstock, an Erlanger, Kentucky resident, citing his participation in national competitions and the International Culinary Olympics. He earned his first ACF gold medal (perfect score) in Category K “hot food” competition, and is hoping to earn another gold in a Category F “mystery basket” competition scheduled for October of this year.
Once he earns a third gold medal, Chef Bungenstock said, he hopes to become an ACF competition judge.
Bungenstock said his performance in ACF competitions has been assisted greatly by the guidance of mentor Chef Alan Neace at the Midwest Culinary Institute, the advice of colleague Chef Greg Skibinski, and the assistance of Ellen Brinkerhoff. He is currently training for a spot on the ACF Culinary Team USA, coached by Chef Tim Bucci, former member of the USA team and an ACF Certified Master Chef candidate for 2016.