Calie Nelson, a student at Baker College of Port Huron Culinary Institute of Michigan, is preparing to battle this weekend for the title of 2016 American Culinary Federation Central Region Student Chef of the Year.
Nelson, of Otisville, will be among three other students from the central region to compete at the Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College, St. Louis. In October, she won the Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association 2015 Student Chef of the Year Championship.
The four cooks are competing for the opportunity to represent the ACF Central region in the national competition at Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show, Phoenix, July 15-19. The regional winner receives bragging rights, travel expenses and a complimentary registration to the national competition. The national winner receives $1,000 and the title of 2016 ACF Student Chef of the Year. At the regional competition, cooks must prepare two portions of a main dish that incorporates chicken for judges in 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Nelson is a second-year student and expects to complete an associate degree in culinary arts in June. After graduating, she plans to work in fine dining in New Orleans and explore what different regions have to offer in the culinary industry.