JWU News

Meet America’s Newest Almost Famous Chef

Destiny Antommarchi with her winning dish.
Culinary Arts

JWU North Miami culinary student Destiny Antommarchi has won the title of 2015 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef — and a year-long culinary apprenticeship.

Antommarchi competed against 4 other regional finalists for the title, presenting her signature dish of Asian Inspired Grouper. Antommarchi was joined at the finals competition by her chef mentor Chad Anderson.

“We are thrilled to name Destiny Antommarchi the 2015 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef,” said Chef Anderson. “This competition is a unique opportunity to recognize the shining stars within our industry’s culinary schools and throughout the program Destiny has stood out for her fresh style, skilled technique and culinary passion.”

“This competition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am honored to have been chosen as this year’s winner,” said Destiny Antommarchi . “The lessons I’ve learned over the past 3 months will help inspire and guide me as I focus on the next chapter of my culinary career.”

The competition kicked off in January and featured students from 41 culinary schools from across the country in a series of 5 regional competitions.

Intense 3 Day Finale in Napa
The 5 finalists who traveled to Napa Valley participated in an intense 3-day event including a “Mystery Basket” and Signature Dish competition. A panel of culinary leaders served as judges, including:

  • Christina Grdovic, publisher of Food & Wine magazine
  • Kristen Thibeault, 2013 Almost Famous Chef winner
  • JJ Johnson (The Cecil)
  • Chad Anderson (Oak Steakhouse Atlanta)
  • Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde)
  • Wilfred Bergerhausen (Le Cirque)
  • Chris Coombs (dbar, Boston Chops and Deuxave)

In addition to the grand prize, the chef contestants had the chance to win various category prizes throughout the weekend. Results of these prize categories:

  • Mystery Basket Competition: Destiny Antommarchi (JWU)
  • People’s Choice Winner: Colfax Selby (International Culinary Center, NY, NY)
  • Signature Dish Competition: Ryan Kim (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nev.)

About the Almost Famous Chef Competition
In its 12th year, the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition is committed to supporting emerging culinary talent.

S.Pellegrino is proud to support a number of top culinary events, including The James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef, and Identità Golose.

Topics: Culinary Arts