Stonewall Resort wins U.S. Copper Skillet award

From left, Senior Category winner Sebastien Layen; Dan Techman, IACC board member; and Junior Category winner Shane Hawkins.

Eight chefs from International Association of Conference Centres-member properties across the U.S. gathered recently to compete for the USA Copper Skillet at the Hilton Chicago | Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, where the winners edged one step closer to the International Copper Skillet Competition global finale next April.

Shane Hawkins, lead cook at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, Va., took the “Junior Category US Copper Skillet Award” for his winning dish in the cook-off. Local judges named Hawkins the winner for his dish of red potato hash, lightly fried striped bass with white wine butter, and seared New York strip with portabella.

Sebastien Layen, executive chef at Benchmark at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas, took the “Senior Category Copper Skillet Award” for his winning dish of whole grain-crusted striped bass with root vegetable hash, New York brim, blueberry gastric, and tomato pie.

In the competition, the chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a "mystery basket" of proteins. They were given 30 minutes to prepare, create and present their creations to local area judges.  

The winners of the upcoming U.S. and Canadian cook-off to be held in Philadelphia next February (both senior chef and junior chef categories) will go on to compete with other chefs from IACC chapters around the world at the International Copper Skillet Competition to be held during the IACC-Americas Connect conference in April 2017 at UCLA Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles. Here the 14th International Copper Skillet Global Champion will be named.

The Copper Skillet Competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centers around the world, and to honor their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference center experience.