May 16, 2014
InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts
is proud to announce the
InterContinental San Juan
Victor Bonano Ortiz
, a culinary student at the
Jose A. (Tony) Santana International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts
as the winners of the brand's Ultimate Culinary Clash, a cooking competition and scholarship fundraiser for culinary students. With the assistance of InterContinental San Juan Executive Chef
, Ortiz received top honors against four other culinary students paired with InterContinental properties in the contest winning a
scholarship from the InterContinental brand. The competition took place
Thursday, May 15
InterContinental® San Francisco
Eight accomplished culinary personalities, including Chef
, restaurateur of the
InterContinental® New York Times Square
Ca Va Brasserie
, judged the competition and scored each dish on taste, creativity and presentation. Winning student Ortiz impressed the judges with his dish "Apple Sage Roasted Pork Belly with Butternut Squash, Exotic Mushrooms Torteloni, Petit Pois and Hickory Smoked Pork Jus." His creation will be featured in InterContinental hotel restaurants across the U.S. and
the week of
and on the
InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook iPad app
, which houses a collection of inspiring recipes created by InterContinental hotels' executive chefs from around the world.
"This young chef was extremely enthusiastic and brought a
," said English. "He created an interesting variation on the classic surf and turf, and the pork belly melted in your mouth. It was also a very beautiful dish."
Showcasing the brand's commitment to culinary excellence, the Ultimate Culinary Clash serves as an opportunity for the InterContinental brand to help inspire the next generation of culinary stars by giving exceptional young talent the stage and support to progress their culinary training in a meaningful way. Over the course of five months, five InterContinental properties across
the United States
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
and also have their dish featured on their local hotel restaurant's menu for a night. The InterContinental properties' restaurants and culinary schools that participated in this year's contest were:
The Culinary Clash began three years ago as a local annual cooking competition at the InterContinental San Francisco hotel's Luce restaurant. The competition invited students from the Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco to compete for a chance to work with the restaurant's Michelin-star Chef
and showcase their own menu for one night in Luce. The competition was expanded this year to include other InterContinental brand hotels from the U.S. and
"While individuals can be born with the passion and the natural talent to be a good cook, becoming a great chef is something that needs to be developed and inspired by those who have been there before," explains Michelin-Star Executive Chef
of the InterContinental
hotel's restaurant, Luce. "In my professional career, it was the mentors who I worked alongside as a young chef, like Chef
, who influenced my progression and got me to where I am today. It was exciting to see the talent that shined throughout the entirety of the competition, and to have hopefully help shape and educate these aspiring young chefs."
The InterContinental San Francisco hotel and Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco student
won second place, and Hunter will receive a gift certificate to the Japanese specialty knife store Korin.
About InterContinental ® Hotels & Resorts
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has 181 hotels located in more than 60 countries with local insight that comes from over 60 years of experience. As a brand, we believe that superior, understated service and outstanding facilities are important, but what makes us truly different is the genuine interest we show in our guests. Our desire is to help guests make the most of their time. We connect our well-traveled guests to what's special about a destination, by sharing our knowledge, so they enjoy authentic experiences that will enrich their lives and broaden their outlook. For more information, visit
Notes to Editors:
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.