|September 15, 2011
Dear Chaîne members,
The international Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition in Istanbul, Turkey was an exciting event attended by 21 competitors from 21 Chaîne countries. This event ran concurrently with the Grand Chapître of Turkey and naturally was attended by dignitaries from all over the Chaîne world.
It gives me great pleasure to tell you that our National Competition Winner, Reilly Meehan won first place and was awarded the Gold Medal for his efforts. His clean presentation of the three dishes he prepared was a cut above the rest. The silver medal was awarded to the competitor from Germany and the bronze to the competitor of Columbia.
In the 35 years of the competitions history the Gold Medal has not been won by an American Competitor. The best placement the USA has received was a bronze medal many years ago. To say that I am extremely proud of Reilly’s accomplishment is an understatement. He came to the competition with his game face on and simply answered my question if he did with “Yes I am here with my A game”.
After Reilly won the National Competition in San Antonio late June, I reached out to Michael Martello, Bailli Provincial of the Pacific Northwest, and asked him to organize and follow a full on coaching and training regimen for his region’s winner so that he may have a chance at the International competition with much higher expectations than the national. With the help of Conseiller Culinaire Provincial Chef John Fisher, Chef Roland Henin, CMC and Chef Randy Torres, who became truly his personal coach, the training Chefs began the continuing work of honing Reilly’s skills to the highest level. Reilly, in addition to bringing a full package of personal skills and fine character of the utmost quality, responded very well and proved in the end that this is the way to do it!!! Chef Randy Torres accompanied Reilly to Istanbul to watch over him in the last hours before the contest and was a rock in Reilly’s journey. I also wish to extend my thanks to the Hillsborough, Seattle & Silicon Valley Bailliages for their support to the training program.
I am happy to assist all Bailli Provinciaux and Conseiller Culinaires Provinciaux in designing a similar training program, as you never know who will win the national competition in New Orleans on May 18, 2012.
Again, congratulations to Reilly Meehan of the Pacific Northwest and a very big thank you to Michael Martello and his regional Chefs, who truly care about our youth and new generation of culinary artists.
Vive La Chaîne
Heinz U. Hofmann
Conseiller Culinaire et des Professionnels National,
Officer Commandeur, Membre Honoraire Conseil Magistral (Paris)