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Stratford University culinary arts student Jane Harris wins the 10th anniversary S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition


FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – (February 29, 2012) – Stratford University culinary school student Jane Harris won the 10th anniversary S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition on February 9, 2012. Harris will compete at the finals competition in Napa Valley, Calif., on March 9-12, 2012.
Harris won the judges’ highest marks with her innovative signature dish recipe, Korean Bibimbap. The rigorous assessment and tasting from the judging panel took place during a tasting reception for local media, chefs, and invited guests. Jane was met with cheers and applause as she was crowned the Mid-Atlantic Regional winner.
 “It was really exciting to win the S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition. This was my first competition, so I was not expecting to win. I wanted to get a feel for what the competitions are like. It was a total shock to me, but it was amazing to have won,” said Harris.
When asked about the skills and experience she has learned from the competition, Harris says, “I learned that no matter how fast you work, you could always work faster. I have received a tremendous amount of help from my chef instructors to prepare for the national competition. I am a baking and pastry student and since the competition is culinary-based, I have been learning new techniques and skills that will be needed for the national competition.”
Harris, along with nine other regional competition winners, will work alongside past national winners and an esteemed judging panel at the finals competition in Napa Valley, Calif. All finals competitors will be evaluated in three competition categories: Mystery Basket, Signature Dish, and People’s Choice. The intense weekend will culminate with the announcement of the 2012 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef. The winner will receive up to $22,000 in prizes, and a career-changing apprenticeship with a master chef.
Chef Vaishali Chitnis, Stratford culinary arts school instructor and Harris’s competition mentor, stated, “Winning the regional competition demonstrates the quality of education offered by Stratford University. Stratford prepares students for real-life experiences in the competitive culinary environment. Experienced and accomplished instructors give rigorous training and personal attention to our students.”
Harris said, “I want to be able to expand my knowledge in the culinary and baking field.” She continues describing what she hopes to gain from her competition experience by saying, “Participating in these competitions will give me the opportunity to see and learn new things. It will also give me the chance to test my skills and show what I have learned at Stratford.”
About Stratford University:
Stratford University operates campuses in Tysons Corner, Woodbridge, Richmond, and Newport News, Va.; and Baltimore, Md. The university offers 31 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, Health Sciences, Nursing, Business Administration, and Information Technology. Many of the degree programs are offered both on campus, as well as online. For more information on Stratford University, please visit .
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