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University of Cincinnati Chef Receives Top Honors in Culinary Challenge

The University of Cincinnati’s own Executive Chef Philippe Audax competed for top culinary honors on March 9, 2007 in Cincinnati, OH during the 1st Annual ARAMARK Culinary Excellence (ACE) competition. The ACE recognizes and rewards outstanding chefs throughout the organization and provides ARAMARK chefs with the opportunity to share their culinary expertise with a broader audience in an environment that is both competitive and stimulating.

Executive Chef Philippe won the gold medal among five other chefs from ARAMARK-managed locations within the Ohio district.  He prepared three dishes including Orzo Salad with Crab-Stuffed Ballotine, Duckling with Risotto and Citrus Jus, and a Duet of Chocolate Mousse.  The competition was hosted by the University of Cincinnati’s award-winning dining center, CenterCourt.  CenterCourt was chosen as a host site because they have excelled in culinary and service standards since opening their doors a little over a year ago.

Winning the gold medal from the National Association of Colleges & Universities Food Services Loyal E. Horton Award for outstanding menus and service is just one indicator of the quality dining program.  Executive Chef Philippe and the entire team at CenterCourt work hard to provide an innovative quality dining program.

Chef Philippe has food “in his blood”. His father was the chef for the governor of Paris at the “hotel des Invalides” and his uncle was the chef at Le Cercle Militaire, both in Paris.  Philippe was also influenced by two of Paris greatest chefs, Jean Jorda of Maxim’s and Guy Legay of the Ritz Hotel plus two culinary teachers, Jean Planche and Jacques Sylvestre, who created virtually all of the culinary programs in Europe. Philippe graduated from the Ecole Hoteliere de Paris and then worked at Maxim’s and the Ritz Hotel in Paris. His efforts earned him a six month internship at the White House in Washington DC, and a stint at the Hamilton Princess Hotel in Bermuda. He then moved to Cincinnati to work at the 4 Star King Cole in Dayton, and then the Revolving restaurant in Covington, for which he won awards at the Taste of Cincinnati for three years in a row. Philippe left Cincinnati for Providence, RI to open the Bluefin Grille. It was there that he met with Julia Child on numerous occasions. Luckily for us, Philippe returned to Cincinnati to open Five Seasons Country Club in Montgomery and is currently the campus Executive Chef at UC.

Philippe prefers to share recipes with his students that can be reproduced at home for family and friends instead of “complicated recipes that nobody will ever look at again after class”. He stresses that cooking is “reachable for everyone and it should be fun”.

District and regional competitions are being held throughout the US and Canada with the top three finalists from each region winning the opportunity to compete at the ARAMARK Culinary Excellence National Challenge to be held in New Orleans.  Chef Philippe will be representing us in the Nationals with a chance to win a European culinary tour package courtesy of ARAMARK.