Terrebonne to represent area in national cooking competition

Paul Terrebonne, a Nicholls State University culinary senior from Larose, is one of 10 finalists that will compete in the 10th annual S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition in Napa Valley, Calif., March 9-12.

Terrebonne won top honors at South Central Regional competition in San Antonio in January. It was the fifth consecutive regional title for the John Folse Culinary Institute at NSU in Thibodaux.

His winning dish included pan roasted red snapper with corn maque choux puree; Jazzmen Rice prepared with Abita Beer; and a confetti of pickled vegetables.

Throughout the past decade, the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition has partnered with more than 340 award-winning chefs representing nearly 400 restaurants. These chefs have judged and mentored the 580 past competitors, helping to launch their culinary careers.

Presiding this year will be Michelin Star and James Beard Award-winning chef Eric Ripert of NYC’s Le Bernanrdin and Five Star Diamond Award winner Susur Lee of Lee Restaurant, in Toronto, will join returning chefs Chicago’s Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, Michel Richard of DC’s Citronelle, Gary Danko of San Francisco’s Restaurant Gary Danko and Chef Jean Joho of Everest in Chicago.

The Almost Famous Chef Competition serves as a platform for culinary schools to showcase their students’ culinary expertise during a fast-paced, high-pressure cooking competition.

“After I was recognized as last year’s winner, the opportunities that have come my way are endless,” said Marco Bahena, reigning Almost Famous Chef. “The mentorship and techniques I’ve learned from the participating chefs were invaluable.”

In celebration of its 10th year, the competition will bring back all nine of the past winners to the final event March 9-12 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, Calif.

Past winners will work alongside the esteemed judge panel to mentor the 10 finalists throughout the three days of fierce competition. All competitors will be evaluated in three competition categories: the Mystery Basket, Signature Dish and People’s Choice.

The highly intense, star-powered weekend will culminate with the announcement of the 2012 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef.

The event will be broadcast live via the Almost Famous Chef Competition Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/AlmostFamousChef, where viewers can vote for their favorite competitor and ask questions of the celebrity chef panel as they watch all the excitement unfold.

The overall winner will take the title, up to $22,000 in prizes and a career-changing apprenticeship with a master chef.

For more information on the competition, visit www.almostfamouschef.com, become a fan on Facebook, or follow the competition on Twitter at AFChefComp.

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