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UVA Executive Chef in the Running for Regional Culinary Title - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Executive Chef in the Running for Regional Culinary Title

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The University of Virginia's top chef could be cooking up a big honor.  UVA's Executive Chef Bryan Kelly is a candidate for the American Culinary Federation's 2012 Southeast Regional Chef of the Year award.

Kelly is one of three chefs up for the title.  The competition will take place next month in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Kelly is slicing and dicing his way to the American Culinary Federation's 2012 Southeast Regional Chef of the Year competition.  "I thought why not branch outside of the company and throw my hat into more of a national arena," he said.

Next month, Kelly will face off in a four-course, one-hour long cook off with two competitors.  He inspires students as well.

"I watch the Food Network all the time.  My skills aren't that great, so he gives a few pointers here and there too," said Lauren Doerr, a UVA student.

Kelly said, "Young adults nowadays are really driven with the advent of food magazines, food channels, students are very informed."

Kelly let us know what sets his dishes apart from the rest.  He said, "I'm a classically trained chef and I use a lot of classical techniques presented in a very modern way."

That's all his cooking secrets he would share, other than the secret to his true success.  "One thing that has stood true my entire career from job to job is hard work, and you have to have a real hard work ethic," stated Kelly.

If Kelly wins the competition next month, he will go on to the national competition in Orlando.  There he will cook beside three chefs from around the country for a $5,000 and title of the American Culinary Federation's 2012 Chef of the Year.

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