This past Sunday evening, Johnson & Wales University student Luis Young copped first prize at the 2010 S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition. The event, held at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, was hosted by food celebs Katie Lee, Ralph Pagano, and Fabio VIviani. Chef judges included Chef Michel Richard of Citronelle, Chef Rick Moonen of rm Seafood, Pagano, and Wade Wiestling of Oceanaire Restaurant; media judges were Dana Cowin of Food & Wine, Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit, and Sophie Gayot of Gayot.com.
Luis drubbed his ten culinary competitors with a triumphant herb-scented seared venison tenderloin. We interviewed Luis before he headed out west. Now he returns home with $13,000 in prize money and a year-long paid apprenticeship with a participating chef. Plus he is officially the 2010 S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef.
"I think winning is awesome, but I didn't come here to win, I came here to learn, and it's been a great learning experience," said Luis. "Ultimately you compete with yourself and I think I did very well."
More info here on the competition and Luis Young.