Chef’s Roll Center Stage: A Once in a Lifetime Apprenticeship Opportunity | The Final Four
November 9th, 2016 By: TrueCooks
Over the last several months Chef’s Roll has been hosting a series of cooking competitions that culminated last Monday in Los Angeles, California. The four finalists, Brandon Duley, Fatima Ali, Joseph Bott and Logan Kendall were flown to Los Angeles for the final test at the premier chef placement agency, Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions Hospitality Recruitment‘s state of the art test kitchen. The Final Round was sponsored by Minor’s, Arc Cardinal, Callebaut, US Foods & Fresh Origins and each of the final four got outfitted by Lost Car Chef Apparel & TrueCooks. The four finalists faced a definitive series of challenges to determine the winning Stagiaire, who will go on to complete a one-month stage at their choice of eight participating Michelin starred restaurants, all expenses paid for by the good people at Chef’s Roll. Talk about a chance of a lifetime! Here are the four finalists and the winner.
Duley’s a ten year veteran of the Los Angeles dining scene. Farm to table sensibilities define his classically trained techniques. To quickly describe the kind of Chef Duley is, he was waiting on the curb in-front of the studio when we arrived at 7:30 AM. He’d been there for 45 minutes. Duley put together clean flavors and excellent technique but in the end he came up a few points shy of the win.
Joe is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he works at refining southern classics with modern plating and cooking techniques. No stranger to culinary competitions, Joe is very active in ACF competitions and was the Student Chef of the Year in 2015 for the Southwest VA chapter. Joe’s courses were highlighted with a perfectly cooked stripped bass, anson mills polenta & carrot puree. Joe also impressed the judges with his positive attitude and teamwork but there can be only one winner.
Not only was this Logan’s first trip to Los Angeles, it was his first trip outside of his native Alabama! That said it should come as no surprise that he reps the south and finds inspiration in his grandmother’s cooking. Logan’s humility and killer bass crudo featuring ingredients he brought with from the farm went a long way with the judges. Keep an eye out for this guy . . .
Representing Brooklyn, New York by way of Pakistan, Fatima came to do two things; Win the apprenticeship & chew bubblegum – and she didn’t pack any gum. “Fati” came out guns blazing. She was organized, calm, cool and collected. She worked with efficiency and accuracy. Her “bite” course, her take on a one bite Cobb salad impressed the judges with it’s balanced flavors and hat tip to Los Angeles landmark the Brown Derby, where the salad was originally created. At the end of the day it was extremely close and all of the finalists shined but Fatima shined the brightest and now has the difficult decision of selecting one of the eight world class restaurants to stage at.
TrueCooks would like to thank all of the contestants, The amazing team at Chef’s Roll, Carlos from Lost Car, all of the sponsors, Chef Jason McLeod, Chef Jeff Bonilla & his team from Breaking Bread Podcast, Chef’s Spoons and last but not least, Brad Metzger and his team at Restaurant Solutions Hospitality Recruitment for not only hosting us but for making everyone feel genuinely welcomed!