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  • Culinary Arts
  • Competitions

    What sort of competitions can I participate in as a PCC Culinary Arts student?

    Culinary Arts student team

    The Culinary Arts Program at PCC competes in competitions sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) more than any other program in Colorado. In addition to many local competition opportunities for students, such as Pueblo’s Chocolate Indulgence and the ACF Pikes Peak Culinary Passport Dinner in Colorado Springs, PCC students can compete in several ACF-sanctioned competitions.

    ACF-sanctioned competitions help students hone their skills, develop discipline and teamwork, and measure themselves against a national benchmark among their peers. It takes a tremendous amount of courage, persistence, and practice to compete. The students who choose to compete at PCC develop the character needed to excel in the culinary arts profession.

    Why should I compete?

    Earning a medal at an ACF-sanctioned competition is a significant achievement to put on a resume. Employers from the highest caliber hotels and country clubs seek out these high performers because they stand out from typical culinary graduates as having more discipline, ambition and practice. ACF competitors are highly organized and are well versed in taking constructive criticism. These soft skills can take years to develop in new graduates, but most ACF competitors have developed the maturity and experience from their coaches and judges that will put them ahead of the rest of the workforce.

    Which competitions can I compete in?

    Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl
    Develop teamwork, memory retention and culinary knowledge through Knowledge Bowl! This four-person team meets weekly to study, drill and prepare for the annual regional competition where students show off their competitive edge at an ACF conference. Students raise funds for their competition expenses and get to enjoy attending an ACF conference and trade show.

    Chef John Jakeman is the coach for the Knowledge Bowl team. If you are interested in joining or attending a practice, please contact him at John.Jakeman@pueblocc.edu.

    Culinary Arts student competing in the Mary Jane Voelker Invitational

    ACF Student Team Skills Championship
    Every November, postsecondary culinary programs from throughout Colorado come together to compete for the ACF Colorado Chef Association Student Team State Championship. A team of five students creates a four-course meal for a panel of judges and is evaluated on organization, sanitation, taste, presentation and teamwork.

    The PCC Culinary Arts program practices throughout the year for this competition and holds tryouts for vacant positions when competitors graduate or step down. The team has earned multiple medals and earned a spot in the ACF Regionals in 2017.

    All PCC Culinary Arts students are welcome to join the Student Skills Team for weekly practice. Contact Mo Montgomery or John Jakeman for details.

    For more information, visit the ACF Student Team competition web page.  

    Annual Mary Jane Voelker Invitational Culinary Competition
    Every spring, students enrolled in the CUA 210 Advanced Garde Manger class participate in an ACF-sanctioned competition in the cold food category. The event is sponsored by our benefactor, Mary Jane Voelker. We open up several more categories to all Pueblo and Pikes Peak Community College Culinary Arts students in a friendly head-to-head school competition.

    Categories change from year to year but can include student and professional categories and cold and hot food. The event could not happen without the generous support of Mary Jane Voelker, who recognizes the importance of these opportunities.