Great American Chef Cook-off!

Show your culinary prowess and demonstrate your superior skills in AACA’s Great American Chef Cook Off. If you are a gradyear graduate in a high school culinary program at a vo-tech or a career & technology center, you are eligible to enter this scholarship competition with a 2015 partner.

At the end of the morning you and your partner could each be the recipient of a PTI scholarship you can use toward your culinary arts program at AACA or any other program at Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

Enter Today! Call 412-809-5381

Win One of 80 Scholarships:

  • First Place Team ............Two $5,000 Scholarships
  • Second Place Team ......Two $3,000 Scholarships
  • Third Place Team ..........Two  $2,000 Scholarships
  • Fourth Place Team ........Two $1,000 Scholarships
  • All Contestants Qualify for a $500 Scholarship

Two Competition Dates:

Competition 1 November 8.....Limit 10 Teams of 2
Competition 2 November 22...Limit 10 Teams of 2

The deadline to enter for both dates is October 31.


  • Competition Limited to Career and Technology Center Seniors Graduating in 2015
  • Judging by Chef Director Norman Hart & a Team of Award-Winning Chefs
  • Competition Will Follow NOCTI Guidelines 


  • All cooking utensils will be provided by AACA.
  • Student responsible for personal equipment, knives, serving spoons, spatulas, etc.


  • Student must be dressed appropriate to kitchen standards.
    • Chef Coat
    • Chef Pants
    • Apron
    • Cook’s Toque
    • Black kitchen shoes
  • Starting time and station will be determined by a drawing.
  • All Allegheny County sanitation requirements must be practiced at all times.
  • Time for the competition will be 1 hour to cook and a 15-minute window to present.
  • Being a High School graduate of the year gradyear is a requirement for entry into the Great American Chef Cookoff.

All food will be provided by AACA

Click here to see the Pantry List

Competition limited to Vo-Tech Culinary Seniors graduating in 2015 - Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.

Questions about the Great American Chef Cookoff? Contact your admissions coordinator or Janet Jennings, event coordinator, at or 412-809-5336. 

Chicken (Shallow Poached)
Whipped Potatoes
Ginger Glaze Carrots
  • Ingredients:

    ½ oz.               Olive Oil
    2 tsp.               Minced Shallots
    1 tsp.               Minced Garlic
    ¼ cup              Sliced Mushrooms
    6 oz or (2) 4oz Chicken Breast(s)
    8 oz.                Chicken Stock
    2 oz.                White Wine (Chardonnay)

    S&P (love)
    4 oz                 Heavy Crème
    1 oz.                Whole Butter
    1 Tbls. Chopped Parsley

    Beurre Manié
    (To thicken)
    4 oz heavy crème
    ½ oz whole butter
    S&P (correct seasonings)


    1. In olive oil sweat shallots, garlic and mushrooms until aromatic.
    2. Place chicken breast onto the aromatics that were sweated.
    3. Add chicken stock and white wine, season with salt & pepper.
    4. Bring to a boil, cover with a cartouche (paper lid) and place in a 325 degree oven until chicken reaches 165 degree. (about 15 minute)
    5. After removing the chicken from oven, discard cartouche, remove chicken breast to a warm plate and place in a warm area.
    6. Thicken cuisson (liquid left from poaching) with Beurre Manié (whole butter and flour rubbed together) and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes on stove top.
    7. Add heavy crème, bring back to a simmer and turn off heat.
    8. Swirl in whole butter (Monte au Beurre until completely melted, correct seasonings (love) and finish with chopped parsley.



    a)Shallow poached
    c) Aromatic
    e) Cuisson
    f) Beurre Manié
    g) Monte Au Beurre

  • Ingredients:

    1#                    Idaho Potatoes, cooked and dried completely.
    (as needed)     Warm Heavy Cream &/or Butter (as needed)(about 3 oz.)
                            (Milk can be substituted for Heavy Crème)
    TT                   Salt & Pepper


    1. Cook potatoes in cold salted water until fork tender and strain.
    2. Place potatoes back into pan that they were cooked in and dry on range (the potatoes are dry when a fond or the potatoes stick lightly to the bottom of pan.  Do not burn!
    3. Pass potatoes through food mill.
    4. Add enough warm heavy cream &/or butter and Salt & Pepper until potatoes are light and fluffy and seasoned correctly.

    *Please note that the potatoes are hot, dry and not over worked!

  • Ingredients:

    Carrots (oblique cut) - 1 lbs.
    Fresh Ginger (rough cut) - 1 ounce
    Sugar - ½ cup
    Honey - 2 ounces
    Whole Butter  - ½ ounce
    Salt & Pepper to taste


    1. Place carrot, sugar and salt in a sauce pot, cover with cold water 2 inches above carrots, bring to a boil and simmer until fork tender.
    2. Strain carrots, discard ginger, from liquid, keeping carrots warm and place reserve liquid to a sauce pan, reduce to a thick syrup (do not burn).
    3. To the syrup, return carrots and honey and butter and fold until butter has melted.
    4. Correct seasonings with salt and pepper.

Great American Chef Cookoff

Team Member 1

Team Member 2

High School / Vo-Tech Information

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AACA Announces Culinary Cookoff Winners

The American Academy of Culinary Arts held a cooking competition in the AACA Culinary Center November 23. Students from across the region participated in the event.