Chartwells Executive Chef John Miller brought home a gold medal from the 23rd International Culinary Art Exhibition, commonly known as the World Culinary Olympics, this October in Messe Erfurt, Germany.
“(I’m) extremely happy (to have won). It’s been a long time in the making,” Miller said. “It’s been exhausting, but a lot of fun ultimately.”
Miller won gold for his cold food platter and six appetizers. The 2012 Michigan Culinary Olympic Team, which Miller was a member of, brought home a total of seven medals — three gold, one silver and three bronze.
In 2000, Miller competed in the Culinary Olympics as a member of a student team from Macomb Community College and won a silver medal.
What the competition dishes out
For Miller, the most challenging aspect of this year’s competition was sharing a kitchen with another team.
“(We were) bumping elbows all day and night long,” he said.
Meeting people from different countries and having food as the force bringing them together was Miller’s favorite aspect of this year’s competition.
Gerald Gatto, resident district manager of Chartwells, said accomplishments such as Miller’s are a rare thing.
“There are not that many chefs that can capture this stature,” Gatto said.
Gatto said Miller winning the award has helped give credibility to Chartwells’ culinary food program.
“It’s kind of a feather in our cap,” Gatto said. “It’s a benefit for everything, we’re very fortunate.”
Miller said his ultimate goal is to become a culinary arts professor and that winning this award is one more helpful step in that direction. He said the experience of winning the award will allow him to give students a firsthand guide to culinary competition.
Miller is unsure if he will participate in the next Culinary Olympics.
“(I will) see if I’ll do it again in 2016,” he said. “It’s up in the air right now.”