The InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco and Anna Ruiz, a culinary student at the International Culinary Center®, as the winner of the sixth annual Ultimate Culinary Clash, which took place on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco Hotel. With the assistance of the hotel’s Executive Chef Michael Wong and student sous chef Sarim Yaun, also from the International Culinary Center®, Anna received top honors while competing against three other culinary students who were paired with top chefs from InterContinental properties in the U.S. and Mexico. She received a $5,000 scholarship from the InterContinental brand and student sous chef Sarim Yaun received an additional $2,500 in scholarship. Winning student Anna Ruiz impressed the judges with her Glazed Pork Belly, Fennel Pollen Grits, Dandelion Greens dish while student sous chef Sarim Yaun served an Asparagus Veloutée alongside Anna’s dish.
Part cooking competition and part scholarship fundraiser, the Ultimate Culinary Clash brought together the winners of four regional Culinary Clash competitions to face-off against each other. The student chef finalists presented a small plate of their winning entrée from the regional Culinary Clash to an esteemed group of judges, composed of a special group of hotel executives, media, and renowned chefs, including Ryan Scott, Top Chef Alum, Emmy-award winning host of “Food Rush,” author of “One to Five,” and regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. Each dish in the competition was judged and scored on taste, creativity, and presentation. Winning student Anna Ruiz impressed the judges with her Glazed Pork Belly, Fennel Pollen Grits, Dandelion Greens dish while student sous chef Sarim Yaun served an Asparagus Veloutée alongside Anna’s dish.
David Neves, Head of F&B Solutions, InterContinental Hotels Group said: “The InterContinental brand’s commitment to its world-class restaurant and beverage program means that we constantly innovate menus that pair local flavors with global inspiration, with our Michelin-starred chefs and celebrity restaurateurs. It gives us great pride to foster the development of the next generation of culinary talent with the Culinary Clash.”
Over the course of three months, four InterContinental properties across the United States and Mexico held local competitions with culinary students. The first place winners from each hotel received the opportunity to move forward to the Ultimate Culinary Clash in San Francisco, and the following is a list of this year’s student participants:
- InterContinental Cleveland – Janice Campbell of Cuyahoga Community College
- Presidente InterContinental Mexico City – Galia Schipper of Anahuac University in Mexico City
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins – Anna Ruiz of International Culinary Center in Campbell, CA
- InterContinental San Francisco – Mitch Rogers of International Culinary Center in Campbell, CA
The Ultimate Culinary Clash serves as an opportunity for the InterContinental brand to showcase its commitment to culinary excellence. The regional competitions began six years ago as a local annual cooking competition at the InterContinental San Francisco hotel’s Luce restaurant. The competition invited students from a local culinary school to compete for a chance to work with the restaurant’s Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey and showcase their own menu for one night in Luce. The competition was later expanded to include other InterContinental hotels from the U.S. and Mexico.