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March 29, 2016

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Culinary students from Johnson County Community College who won a regional championship in St. Louis this month will be heading to the national competition in Phoenix this summer.

The team, made up of five students attending JCCC’s Hospitality and Culinary Academy, beat out nine other teams to win the gold medal at the American Culinary Federation Central Regional Student Team Championship on March 12-13. Vying for the national title will be students Ashley Hunt, Heather Goodenow, Felipe Padilla, Gabrielle Edrosa and Rocio Ramos.  

“This win is a huge success for our team and opens the door to higher-level competitions as well as national recognition of the team’s culinary skills and the JCCC culinary program, said professor Felix Sturmer, who coached the team with associate professor Edward Adel. “We are looking forward to the nationals. We will prepare in the same manner that we do for all competitions, with total dedication to doing our very best.”

The ACF Student Team Championship, sponsored by Vitamix, is designed to raise the standards of culinary excellence and professionalism among students, promote camaraderie and educational opportunities and act as a staging area for research and development of culinary concepts. To compete at the regional level, teams had to first win local and state competitions.

Adel said the regional win felt good. “Winning the Student Team Championship is exactly what we work to accomplish each year,” he said.

The team will compete for the national title against their regional counterparts at the “Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show” July 15-19 in Phoenix.