ACF Culinary Team USA: Exploring the Wide World of Competition

ACF Culinary Team USA: Exploring the Wide World of Competition

By the American Culinary Federation

George Castaneda, CEC, was a familiar figure to many of those involved with the ACF Culinary Team USA before he became a member of the national team. We spoke with Castaneda — an executive chef for Sodexo Corporate Services’ Healthways World Headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and an ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter Member — about his involvement with previous teams and how he went from assistant/apprentice to team member.

What inspired you to compete?

George Castaneda: I have always had a desire to learn and to stay current. To accomplish that, I needed an outlet to exercise my creativity. I found that competitions are a great source of information and networking, and this involvement provided me with the latest trends while making friends. One event inspired the next because I felt the need to get better and better.

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