2012-03-15 / Front Page

Whatley wins western region

 Percy Whatley, CEC, of Yosemite, executive chef of The Ahwahnee, was named Western Region Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation last week after winning a competition during the organization’s 2012 ACF Western Regional Conference held at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Sparks, Nev., March 12-14. Whatley accepted the award during the regional awards gala at the close of the conference.


“The experience of the competition goes deeper than just the day of the event. It is all of the effort and collaboration that precedes the event—the training, the menu ideation, the little tweaks—all of this is the experience that makes all competing chefs much better at what they do,” said Whatley. “When it all comes to a head on the day of the event, it proves worthwhile and is so amazingly beneficial to the outcome of the competition.”


Sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions, the Western Region Chef of the Year award recognizes an outstanding culinarian who works and cooks in a full-service dining facility. This person demonstrates the highest standard of culinary skills, advances the cuisine of America and gives back to the profession through the development of students and apprentices. At the competition, four chefs had 15 minutes to set up, 60 minutes to fabricate and cook four portions of their dish, 10 minutes to plate the dish and 15 minutes to clean up. Competitors were required to incorporate arctic char in their dishes. A panel of judges selected the winner based on cooking skills, taste and professionalism. Whatley won for his dish, “Pacific Sunset, Arctic Char—A Northwest Approach.” As the regional award recipient, he will compete for the national title at the 2012 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Fla., in July.  



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