First Place Student Chef Eric Lu of the Art Institute of Washington Wins $5,000 Scholarship from the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Brand
InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf and Eric Lu, culinary student at the Art Institute of Washington, as winners of the fifth annual Ultimate Culinary Clash, which took place on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf hotel. Eric worked closely with Executive Chef Kwame Onwuachi behind the hotel’s Kith/Kin restaurant and his Art Institute colleague and sous chef Adrienne Wilson to execute his dishes for the evening. Part student 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 to see whose dishes reigned supreme. Eric received a $5,000 scholarship from the InterContinental brand and student sous chef Adrienne Wilson received an additional $2,500 in scholarship.
The event welcomed more than 200 clients, industry tastemakers, and media for a competitive culinary evening where guests were encouraged to taste and mingle with chef and student teams from InterContinental San Francisco, InterContinental Mark Hopkins, Presidente InterContinental Mexico City, and InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf. Local judges included Kate Gibbs with Destination DC, Tierney Plumb with Eater DC, Lauren Rosenberg with Smithsonian Associates, Susan Able from Edible DC, Erica Moody – editor and publisher at Washington Life, Richard Brandenberg, Director of Culinary Strategy at EDENS, Jamie MacBain with Diageo, and Michelle Scholtes, blogger for The Hungry Lobbyist and Hangry District.
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 where they presented a small portion of their winning appetizer and entrée. Events guests, who judged dishes based on taste, creativity, and presentation, were impressed by the team’s Maine Lobster “Piri Piri” with charred pineapple, cilantro, puffed quinoa and West African Ground Nut Stew braised chicken with toasted coconut greens, spiced potato crumble.
This year’s student participants and hotels included:
- InterContinental Washington DC – The Wharf– Eric Lu of the Art Institute of Washington
- Presidente InterContinental Mexico City – María Fernanda Escalona Meléndez of Anahuac University/Le Cordon Bleu in Mexico City
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins – Selah Kendall of International Culinary Center® in Campbell
- InterContinental San Francisco – Hannah Gomez of International Culinary Center® in Campbell