Princeton, N.J. – Brian Wagner, Aramark executive chef at the Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center was named the 2018 IACC (International Association of Conference Centers) Global Copper Skillet winner. The Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference venues around the world and give recognition to their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference venue experience. The 2018 event was conducted as a three-part competition held in phases around the world. The final winners representing IACC Americas, Australia/ Asia Pacific, and European member venues competed for IACC’s prestigious culinary award at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday April 17th.
The competing chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a “mystery basket” of proteins and other fresh grocery items. They were given 15-minutes to gather ingredients and 30-minutes to create and present their dish to the judges: Iron Chef Jose Garces, restaurateur Chef Walter Staib and Steve Poses, the founder of the catering company Frog Commissary were on the competition judging panel. Chef Brian’s winning dish was Roasted duck breast with five spice, caramelized fennel, orange, baby carrot, and a soy honey glaze.
IACC Americas President, Sean Anderson, commented on the recent U.S Copper Skillet competition; “Food is such an important element of everything we do. I’m proud to see IACC chefs entertain the audience with a terrific display of creativity, passion and talent! I congratulate all the chefs for being part of this special event.” General Manager of Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center said, “We are very proud of Chef Wagner and his accomplishment. To prepare a winning dish under such great pressure is such a testament to not only his culinary skill, but his creativity. We’re glad he’s on our team.”
Chef Wagner is a local New Jerseyan. He was educated at the Arizona Culinary Institute and began his career in several four and five star dining restaurants in the Northeast. From being a tournant to a fish cook, Chef Wagner gained experience early on in his career to develop his culinary skills. He was later recruited to work at Joel Robuchon’s restaurant in Las Vegas as a Master Cook. This unforgettable experience at the three Michelin Star Restaurant allowed Chef Wagner to learn from the very best in the business. After years of refining his culinary skills in the Vegas restaurant scene, Chef Wagner came back to his Jersey roots to take on the Executive Chef role at the Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey. Chef Brian’s culinary experiences have all contributed to his philosophy of local, and fresh, creative cooking.
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Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realised. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe. IACC elevates the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive of the best-in-class meeting venues internationally. IACC membership is a symbol of meeting excellence and exceptional connections amongst the best in the meeting industry. This exclusiveness makes IACC’s members part of an elite group representing the most innovative, forward-thinking and results-driven meeting venues globally.
All members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. IACC includes over 350 members from the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nigeria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Mongolia, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, England, Wales and Scotland.