by Kat Robinson
Oklahoma Chef, PTC Student Top Winners in ACF-Sanctioned Competition
Cash and scholarships awarded at event held in conjunction with Ben E. Keith show
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — May 25, 2011 — Chef Michael Powell of the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club was the top professional finisher and Douglas Spharler of the Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School was the top student in the state’s first American Culinary Foundation sanctioned competition held in conjunction with the Ben E. Keith annual food show May 11 in Hot Springs.
Powell received $2,500 and a gold medal, while Chef Cynthia Malik, an instructor at the PTC Arkansas Culinary School, received $1,500 and a silver medal for finishing second, and Chef Clifton Lee Van On of Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth received $1,000 and a silver medal as the third-place finisher. Chef Jay McAfee, PTC Arkansas Culinary School instructor and Chef Randy Page, Executive Chef at Arkansas State University both received bronze medals.
Ben E. Keith also awarded scholarships to the top three student finishers: a $1,000 scholarship for Spharler, who also received a bronze medal; a $750 scholarship for runner-up Jeremiah Hudson and a $500 scholarship for Richard Lindsey, who finished third in the student competition.
Medals were awarded based on the points awarded: 36-40 points for gold; 31-35.99 points for silver, and 28-31.99 for bronze. Judges for the event were Chef Robert Meitzer of Red Rocks Country Club in Morrison, Colo; Chef Travis Smith of Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colo; and Chef Patrick Mitchell of Ben E. Keith Foods’ Dallas-Fort Worth division.
The competition was organized by Ben E. Keith staff; Chef Todd R. Gold, CEC, CCA, AAC, president of the American Culinary Federation Central Arkansas Chapter (ACF-CAC), director of programs at Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School (PTC ACS) and president of the Purple Cow Restaurants; and Chef Daniel Capello, CEC, competition chair of the ACF-CAC and executive chef at Chenal Country Club.
Assisting were Renee Smith, CHE, assistant director of the Arkansas Culinary School, and Chef Suzanne Campbell, CEC, adjunct instructor at the Arkansas Culinary School. ACS student volunteers included Bree Robinson, ACF-CAC student of the year; Johnny Jynes; Xavier Camp; Quincy Steed; and Pamela Clark.