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Feb 25 2016

Feb. 25, 2016
Nannette Rodriguez
Associate vice president, Office of Marketing, Brand and Communication
Derek Rayment
Public + Media Relations Manager

First Omaha Culinary Open produces winners, memories at MCC

 OMAHA, Neb. — Student and professional culinarians from four states competed this week in the Omaha Culinary Open, the first American Culinary Federation-sanctioned culinary competition held in the city in nearly 20 years. The Omaha area’s ACF chapter, Professional Chefs and Culinarians of the Heartland, partnered with the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College to present the first Omaha Culinary Open on Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20 at MCC’s Fort Omaha Campus.
Student culinary teams and professionals who competed are from Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas; Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wisconsin; Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College/Culinary Team Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska; and 1st Infantry Division BROCAT (Ft. Riley), Fort Riley, Kansas. Show chair was ACF local chapter President Chef Jo Anne Garvey, CEC. Coaches and their student teams, along with professional individual competitors, brought their best cooking skills and presented their food to ACF culinary judges from Colorado, Missouri and Ohio.
Medals earned for individuals and teams were as follows:
Individual competition results
Sarah Farmer, Omaha, Nebraska, MCC Culinary Team Nebraska, Student Hot Food/Fish – Gold
Brandi Wilmot, Omaha, Nebraska, MCC Culinary Team Nebraska, Student Pastry – Silver
Jeff Fritz, Bellevue, Nebraska, MCC Culinary Team Nebraska, Professional Pastry – Bronze
Brian Leeper, JCCC, Professional 5 Course Menu Gastronomique – Bronze
Michael Lamping, JCCC, Professional 5 Course Menu Gatsronomique – Bronze
Robert Amihere, Ft. Riley, Professional Hot Food - Bronze
Margarita Hernandez, Ft. Riley, Student Hot Food/Chicken – Bronze
Carlos Cruz, Ft. Riley, Student Hot Food – Bronze
Team competition results
Institute for the Culinary Arts at MCC/Culinary Team Nebraska – Gold
Johnson County Community College – Silver
Ft. Riley - Bronze
“Being at a competition for the first time was breath taking,” said current MCC student and 2016
Rising Star scholar, Justin Tran, who worked at the event both days. “It was amazing to work behind the scenes while watching the competitors and meeting new people who share my passion.”
About the American Culinary Federation, Inc.
The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America with more than 20,000 members. The Professional
Chefs and Culinarians of the Heartland located in Omaha, Nebraska is one of 200 ACF chapters located nationwide. ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef®, Certified Sous Chef® and Certified Executive Pastry Chef® designations the only culinary credentials accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit Find ACF on Facebook at and on Twitter.


Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable, quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, MCC has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second largest postsecondary institution in the state. MCC serves more than 40,000 unique credit and noncredit students.