Student Wins Almost Famous Chef Regionals

JWU student Chelsea Weinberg wins the San Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition Mountain regionals — and heads to Napa to compete in the finals, where the 10 best culinary school chefs from the US and Canada will compete for $20,000 and a one-year apprenticeship with a celebrity chef.

Watch Chelsea’s journey in these 3 competition videos.


Chelsea’s Signature Dish
Chelsea set the bar high with her signature dish, a boneless roasted lamb rack with roasted root vegetables, homemade butternut squash tortellini and arugula purée. Watch her recreate her winning dish for

In this video, Chelsea walks you through how it all came together in just two hours from prep to plate — and how she banished her doubts during judging.


Wowing the Judges
The judges were unanimous: “We all thought the same thing, which was that [Chelsea] really deserved to win,” notes chef-mentor Carla Pellegrino, “Top Chef” Season 10 competitor. “She could actually win [the entire] competition, because everything I tasted in her plate was on the money.”


Who Will Win in Napa?
Chelsea is ready for the finals: “There are so many challenges [I’m] going to have to face, but that’s part of being a chef. You have to be innovative and willing to change.”

Fellow JWU student Rocky Jokbengboon also competing in the Napa finals. Watch Rocky’s story.

Post-Competition Update
Chelsea and Rocky didn't win the grand prize in Napa, but they wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. How many students get to cook for such legendary chefs as Spiagga’s Tony Mantuano, “Top Chef Masters” competitors Susur Lee and Rick Moonen, and Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin?

Best of all, Chelsea finally made it to Thomas Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry.