OCC student wins national cooking contest

A culinary student from Orange Coast College won the National Culinary Challenge this week in Minneapolis, OCC announced Wednesday.

Bryce Benes made a dish called "Duo of Duck" to take the top prize in the contest sponsored by the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS).

Participating chefs had an hour to cook four portions of an original recipe, hot entree, an OCC news release said.

Judges ranked the dishes based on taste, cooking skill and techniques, organizational skills and sanitation.

Benes, who competed in cooking for the first time earlier this year at a regional event, called the nationals "an amazing experience," according to the release.

Benes also won a gold medal from the American Culinary Federation for his dish. The nationwide organization for professional chefs and cooks sanctioned the Minneapolis competition.

"It wasn't really between me and these other chefs; I was competing against myself to try to make this dish the best I've ever made it," Benes said in a prepared statement. "Getting a medal not just at NACUFS, but from the ACF is really important to me; it's such a high standard."

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter. @jeremiahdobruck

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