Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food in Bentonville recently hosted practice sessions for the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Culinary Team USA on Tuesday and Wednesday as they prepared for the 2024 IKA Culinary Olympics. The IKA/Culinary Olympics is the oldest and largest international culinary arts competition in the world.
Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food is the culinary school of NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) located in Bentonville. The center’s goal is to develop leaders who combine culinary skills with the ability to recognize and address complex food issues. In addition to artisanal food, culinary arts, butchery, pastry and baking and beverage management, it offers courses focused on culinary nutrition, food waste reduction and food security.
The ACF culinary team utilized Brightwater’s facilities to practice making various foods and meals such as the Restaurant of Nations meal and serving to invited guests. A number of Brightwater students worked closely with the ACF culinary team members and assisted with prepping, plating and running. The ACF culinary team’s advisors – Chefs John Coletta, Kevin Storm and Randy Torres- also performed demonstrations for Brightwater students and employees and local restaurant owners.
“It was a true pleasure having American Culinary Federation Team USA with us this week,” a Brightwater representative said in a social media post. “Our students were able to see in action some of the best chefs in the nation and learn about the benefits of ACF membership. Maybe someday we will see a Brightwater graduate on ACF Team USA.”
The American Culinary Federation is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions and consists of a National, Regional, Youth and Military Teams. ACF Culinary Team USA is the standard of excellence for the culinary industry, advancing and promoting professionalism, leadership and collaboration.
The 2024 IKA Culinary Olympics will take place in Stuttgart, Germany. Team USA practices once a month at various facilities across the country, and Brightwater was the host for November 2021.
“Our students are gaining invaluable experience as they work alongside these elite chefs. We look forward to cheering for ACF Team USA in 2024!”