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Kristen Thibeault won "Almost Famous Chef"

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Kristen Thibeault won the 11th edition of the S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Almost Famous Chef competition held at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California on March 11.

Kristen Thibeault is studying at Le Cordon Bleu College in Boston and is one of 10 students who participated in the final competition in Napa Valley. She captivated the jury, earning a one-year paid apprenticeship with one of the chef judges and a $13,000 cash prize.

Almost Famous Chef is an annual competition with student participants from 75 leading culinary schools in U.S. and Canada. Every year in January and February, students are involved in 10 regional competitions. The regionals include mentoring from the judges during the competition. And the 10 regional winners compete at the final competition. Dana Cowin of Food & Wine, Betsy Andrews of Saveur and Mitchell Davis of The James Beard Foundation were some of the judges that year. 


The Mistery Basket Award was assigned to Jean-Christophe Comtois, student of the École hôtelière de la Capitale in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He also won the online Acqua Panna Fan Favorite Award. Ace Gonzalez of the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas, took the Signature Dish Prize.

For the first time that year, Almost Famous Chef’s Facebook fans had the chance to share their own Signature Dish and win a trip to Napa Valley for the finals as well as have their own recipe made by one of the chefs.

Read about Almost Famous Chef 2013 on Fine Dining Lovers.