Foundry Executive Chef Sean Miller and his team took home a silver medal at the recent American Culinary Federation Competition, held January 6 through 8 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. The fifth annual ACF-sanctioned event brought in food service chefs from colleges, country clubs and restaurants throughout the Northeast.
Chef Miller’s team was one of eleven to compete in the prestigious, invitation-only event. Each four-person team was given a surprise market basket filled with seasonal products and ingredients, and required to design and prepare an original three-course menu. Competitors had just two hours to execute and present their creations. Teams had an additional hour to prepare a buffet platter for ten people. The judging panel included two ACF Certified Master Chefs.
“It’s like a team version of Chopped,” says Chef Miller, referring to the popular Food Network television show. “It’s pretty nerve-wracking, trying to perform while being timed, with Master Chef judges watching over your shoulder. But it was definitely a valuable experience, a chance to really sharpen our creative culinary skills. We were thrilled and honored to receive a silver medal.”
Dishes were judged for originality, taste, and presentation, with points awarded for teamwork, culinary skills, and sanitation. Teams were only allowed to use four portable butane burners to prepare the first two courses of their menu. For the dessert course they were allowed only an oven and a freezer.
Among Miller’s medal-winning menu items:
(appetizer course) Pan-seared hake with chilled beluga lentil and avocado salad with plum vinaigrette, compressed plums, micro-green salad and herb oil;
(entrée course) Pan-seared teres major, celery root puree, creamed brussels sprouts, bacon & mushroom relish, warm fingerling potato salad, demi glacé, oblique cut carrots and celery root chips;
(dessert course) Hazelnut cake with a blood orange glaze, blood orange and pineapple sorbet, hazelnut crumble, chocolate and blood orange sauce and pineapple chips.
The buffet platter included duck roulade, spinach & pistachio duck mousseline, oatmeal stout infused farro, pan roasted acorn squash, haricot vert, whole roasted cipollini onions, sautéed Portobello mushroons, and crispy duck skin with a reduced duck jus.
The award-winning cuisine of Executive Chef Sean Miller is served nightly at the Foundry at Summit Pond, located on the Killington Road.
The ACF was established in 1929 and is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With more than 17,500 members spanning nearly 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the leading culinary association offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation.