At the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston, FL, in January, four chefs from International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) member properties in the U.S. and Canada convened to compete for the coveted IACC-Americas Copper Skillet final; the winners are headed to the International Copper Skillet global final in April.
Chef Laura Leonetti from the Villanova University Hotel & Conference Center took the IACC-Americas Senior Chef Category Copper Skillet for her winning dish in the cook-off -- Filet Mignon and Jumbo Prawns, white asparagus, sautéed sweet potatoes, mango & avocado salsa.
Zachary Miller from the The Inn at Virginia Tech took the IACC-Americas Junior Chef Category Copper Skillet for his winning dish. This marked the first year in the 11-year history of the Copper Skillet competition that IACC introduced a Junior Chef category where IACC conference center chefs under the age of 26 competed in the cook-off.
Miller's dish was composed of brown butter seared prawn and filet with trumpet and lobster mushroom red wine demi glace accompanied by smashed purple sweet potatoes and sautéed asparagus, carrots, and Swiss chard.
In both competitions, the chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a "mystery basket" of proteins. They were given 30 minutes to prepare, create, and present their creations to local area judges.
Both chefs will go on to compete with other chefs from IACC chapters around the world at the International Copper Skillet Competition at the 34th IACC-Americas annual conference at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in April 2015, where the 11th Global Copper Skillet Champion will be named.
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