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  • Aramark To Celebrate Top Chefs At National Finals Of Inaugural Culinary Excellence Competition

    Company’s Top U.S. Culinarians will Compete in Philadelphia for the “Copper Pot” and a $10,000 Donation to a Non-Profit Partner

    PHILADELPHIA (November 18, 2019)Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the global food service provider of two billion meals every year, is hosting an intense culinary competition to determine its best U.S.-based chefs. With knives sharpened, toques neatly packed and bragging rights on the line, Aramark’s top chefs from across the country will descend upon its Global Headquarters, in Philadelphia, PA, on November 20, 2019, to compete in the Inaugural National Finals of the Aramark Culinary Excellence (ACE) Competition – a showcase of the company’s domestic culinary talent and menu innovation.


    Fifteen chefs from participating U.S. lines of business (Business Dining, Education, Healthcare Hospitality, Leisure, and Sports & Entertainment) beat the kitchen heat in sector championships to earn their spot in the national competition. The top three finishers from each industry have formed a team to compete for the honor of 2019 Aramark Culinary Excellence National Champions.


    “We could not be more excited for the National Finals of the Aramark Culinary Excellence Competition. These talented chefs go above and beyond each day, creating and serving amazing meals to millions of sports fans, students, employees, hospital patients and travelers,” said John Zillmer, Aramark’s Chief Executive Officer. “I applaud all of the chefs for excelling in the kitchen, and thank them for their devotion and dedication to continuously innovating our customers’ dining experience.”


    In addition to vying for the ACE Championship Copper Pot, each team of three will compete on behalf of one of Aramark’s non-profit partners. The winning team’s charitable organization will receive a $10,000 donation from the Aramark Charitable Fund.


    Business Dining will compete on behalf of Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Education on behalf of Hope Center for College, Community and Justice; Healthcare Hospitality on behalf of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation; Leisure on behalf of the National Park Foundation; and Sports & Entertainment on behalf of Back on My Feet.


    For the ACE Finals, judges from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – the largest professional chefs association in North America – will evaluate and score chefs against the rigorous criteria of ACF competition standards. Competitors have 30 minutes to create a menu, 4 hours for allotted cooking/service time, and 30 minutes for clean-up. The winning team of chefs will successfully prepare and present a four-course menu, utilizing a mystery basket of 16 fresh, seasonal ingredients, as well as demonstrate a mastery of cooking technique.


    The daylong intensive culinary challenge will culminate with an evening awards ceremony, honoring all the national finalists and recognizing their culinary achievement.


    Over 100 chefs from Aramark’s U.S. Business Dining, Healthcare Hospitality, Education (Higher Education/K12), Leisure, and Sports & Entertainment accounts competed individually in business sector competitions.


    Aramark Culinary Excellence National Finals Team Competitors

    (Comprised of top three finishers from each business sector final)


    Business Dining

    Sean Fetters

    New York Life


    Dylan France



    Lee Chamberlain

    Roche Diagnostics




    Ryan Andress

    University of North Carolina-Wilmington


    Christopher L. Bee

    Boston University


    William Edmondson

    Kent State University



    Healthcare Hospitality

    Tracey A. Hopkins, Sr.

    Einstein Medical Center


    Jacob Helsabeck

    Warren Memorial Hospital


    Damon Mangano

    Hillcrest Hospital




    Justin Key

    William F. Bolger Center


    Brian Wagner

    Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center


    Scott Simpson

    Ross School of Business at University of Michigan - Executive Learning and Conference Center



    Sports & Entertainment

    Stephen Aheimer

    FirstEnergy Stadium


    Richard Grab

    Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington, DC District


    Allan Wambaa

    Oregon Convention Center



    About Aramark
    Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 280,000 team members deliver innovative experiences and services in food, facilities management and uniforms to millions of people every day. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees; empower healthy consumers; build local communities; source ethically, inclusively and responsibly; operate efficiently; and reduce waste. Aramark is recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ), DiversityInc, Black Enterprise and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.5xia.icu or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


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