ARAMARK Chefs Compete for Culinary Excellence

Mid-Atlantic Region Team Brings Home the Gold; 30 Finalists Awarded American Culinary Federation Medals

PHILADELPHIA--()--More than 150 ARAMARK chefs from colleges, universities and conference centers across North America competed in the 2011 ARAMARK Culinary Excellence competition, which culminated at the National Competition held Sunday in Tampa, FL. The Mid-Atlantic Region team, featuring chefs from University of Virginia, James Madison University and Muskingum University, won the prestigious “Copper Pot,” and all 30 finalists earned medals from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the largest professional chefs association in North America.

The finalists, divided into 10 three-member teams, were given 30 minutes for menu creation, and three hours to fully execute an appetizer, entrée and dessert from a mystery basket that included yellow tail snapper, Cornish game hen, chicken livers, whole shrimp, figs, peanuts, red beans and asparagus.

A team of five Certified Master Chefs, led by Bill Franklin of Nestle-Minors, judged the competition based on cooking skill, flavor, plate presentation, use of all ingredients and food safety practices.

“We are extremely proud of all of the talented chefs who showcased their culinary expertise in this year’s competition,” said David Reusche, ARAMARK Higher Education’s National Director of Catering. “In addition to sharing their talents and creativity, the chefs also earned continuing education or recertification credits from the American Culinary Federation.”

The 2011 ARAMARK Culinary Excellence Winners include:

The ACE Gold Medal and Copper Pot:
The Mid-Atlantic Region team of Bryan Kelly (University of Virginia), Brandon Rudisill (James Madison University) and Anthony Baker (Muskingum University).

The ACE Silver Medal:
The Midwest Region team of Stacy Wiroll (University of Minnesota), Mark Little (Loyola University, Chicago) and Sunny Yim (University of Chicago).

The ACE Bronze Medal:
The Southeast Region team of Eric Huff (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Paul Calice (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Ryan Andress (University of North Carolina, Wilmington).

In addition to the ARAMARK medal winners, the American Culinary Federation awarded the following medals to all finalists, including:

ACF Gold Medals:
Bryan Kelly (University of Virginia), Brandon Rudisill (James Madison University), Anthony Baker (Muskingum University), Stacy Wiroll (University of Minnesota), Mark Little (Loyola University, Chicago), Sunny Yim (University of Chicago), Eric Huff (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Paul Calice (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Ryan Andress (University of North Carolina, Wilmington).

ACF Silver Medals:
Todd Alden (Springfield College), Jerry Reveron (The Taft School), Christopher L. Bee (Boston University), Edgar Portillo (Marymount Manhattan College), Edward Nagy (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Jesse Reeves (Bloomsburg University), Juan Vasquez (University of California, Irvine), Paul Baca (University of California, Irvine), Jeremy Reimer (California State University, East Bay), Jeff Lin (Villanova Conference Center), Ann Kozina (Fluno Center, University of Wisconsin), Jeremy Becklehamer (Ross School of Business, University of Michigan), Mathew Morazain (University of British Columbia), Daniel Poulin (McGill University,Canada), Jean-Francois Gnemmi, (King's College,Canada), Glen Pugh (Middle Tennessee State University), Greg Eisele, (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Linda David (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga).

ACF Bronze Medals:
Fernando Morales (University of Houston), Jason Knapp (University of Central Arkansas) and Elias Acosta (Southern Methodist University).

The ARAMARK Culinary Excellence Program, which began in 2003, recognizes and rewards outstanding chefs throughout ARAMARK-managed accounts and provides them with the opportunity to share their culinary expertise in a competitive environment.

About ARAMARK Higher Education

ARAMARK Higher Education is dedicated to excellence in dining, facility, conference center, and stadium and arena services. ARAMARK enhances the living and learning experience and environment for more than 600 colleges and universities throughout North America. For more information and a list of our services, visit


ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies," and as one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site,, or



Karen Cutler, 215-238-4063


Karen Cutler, 215-238-4063