It is a dream of a lifetime for chefs, having the opportunity to represent America in the culinary world. For one local chef that dream's coming true. WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay Bishop, caught up with him as he practiced to beat 19 other chefs across the country.
“I'm antsy, I want to get started and get it over with,” said Marvin Herrera, Executive Chef at the Augusta Country Club.
You wouldn't notice nerves in this kitchen.
“This is a goal that I believe every chef wants to accomplish,” said Chef Herrera
At the Augusta Country Club, some may say he's a hidden treasure. Executive Chef, Marvin Herrera, was selected to compete to be a member of the American Culinary Federations's Culinary Team USA.
“The excitement was so great that I walked out of my office screaming and jumping because I was so happy about it,” said Chef Herrera.
Chef Herrera says it wasn't long before reality set in on just what he needed to do to win. He has to make the cut in two different competitions, each with intense judging, including staying within the allotted time.
“I have been timing myself,” said Chef Herrera. “Going into the kitchen and doing the platter from beginning to end.”
When we caught up with him, he was practicing one of his appetizers. Striped sea bass two ways, a fritter and pan seared, each complimented by mouth-watering sauces.
“You have to practice in an environment where you're basically by yourself, you have to concentrate,” said Chef Herrera
No doubt concentration is key, but it's not just on the food – for Herrera, it's also on what this win would mean.
“It means the whole world to me,” said Chef Herrea. “Just to be able to represent the club, represent the state of Georgia, the United State, and especially for me because this country has adopted me.”
“Feel confident you can do it?” asked Barclay Bishop, WJBF News Channel 6 reporter.
“Absolutely, absolutely!” replied Chef Herrera.
The first competition will be June 15th and 16th at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte. Once the competition is over, it will be one week before Chef Herrera finds out if he made the cut for the second competition. That second one will determine who the 6 new members will be on Culinary Team USA.