JJC Culinary Arts Professor Andy Chlebana earned a spot on the American team that will compete in the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, or World Cup of Pastry, in Lyon, France in January 2013.
Culinary Arts Professor Tim Bucci will also be competing in a global culinary competition: in 2010, he secured his secured his spot on the American team to compete in the World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, in October 2012.
Chlebana won his place on the team after participating in the tryouts, which were held April 20 and 21 at Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich. The competition required completing a chocolate sculpture, two identical cakes and eight plated desserts. The theme was communication, and Chlebana chose to focus on interpreting the concept of handwritten letters now being carried by the modern pony express of the internet.
After 11 hours of work, with all pieces made on site, Chlebana learned that he had earned one of three spots on the prestigious team.
“This competition is truly the big league of pastry,” Chlebana said. “When I was a student at JJC, the pastry chefs who competed at this level were like rock stars. In addition to reaching my goal of being a part of the team, I have the opportunity to represent the USA in an international competition against the best from around the world.”
Chlebana, who was also named team captain, will be practicing with his team throughout the year to prepare for the competition.
Bucci participated in both the cold and hot food program tryouts in February 2010 at Elgin Community College in Elgin, and learned in May of that year that he had made the team. Prior to that, he had already competed in the World Culinary Olympics in 2008, earning a gold medal for one of his entries.
Since the tryouts, Bucci and his team have been practicing once or twice a month for three or four days at a time at different campuses of Johnson and Wales Universities. They have also participated in other competitions, such as the Villeroy & Boch Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in November 2010.
"Everything we do is getting ready for the big show- the World Culinary Olympics," Bucci said. "Teams practice for years to prepare for this. We met in different states and different kitchens to prepare-and that doesn't include the countless hours of practicing at home for practice with the team!"