They came from all over the West Coast, six challengers armed to the teeth with knives and steel wills. They would need both to come out on top.
They are the most prestigious culinary students from some of the country’s most prestigious schools, vying for a spot in the finals of the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition. They battled in a regional event last week at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California — Hollywood.
The winner would go on to the finals in Napa Valley, competing for $22,000 in prizes.
They emerged from their kitchens exhausted and sweaty. Then the chefs left, their months of preparation at an end.
But one stayed behind because there was still work to be done. The kitchen needed cleaning, the judges’ dais needed to be taken down. There were classes in the morning, and his first was at 7 a.m.