Luce’s Third Annual “Culinary Clash”

Luce Executive Chef Danilel Corey by Mark Leet

Luce Executive Chef Danilel Corey by Mark Leet

Main image icon | Restaurant Interior by Rien van Rijthoven

Luce at the InterContinental® San Francisco announces its partnership with Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, San Francisco for the third annual Culinary Clash, the school’s largest cooking competition and scholarship effort. The competition invites students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts to compete for a chance to cook with Michelin-star Chef Daniel Corey and have their menu featured at the restaurant. Students submit menus and corresponding recipes through February 2014, and three finalists will cook at Luce to showcase their menu on a designated night starting in March. Event judges include a panel of hotel executives, local personalities and food writers, as well as guests of the restaurant that evening.

All participating student finalists receive cash prizes for scholarships at their respective schools, and the winner of Luce’s Culinary Clash competes in an Ultimate Culinary Clash competition with the InterContinental New York Times Square, InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, and InterContinental San Juan in San Francisco on May 15, 2014. One property along with its executive chef and student chef will be named winner of the overall competition. The winning student will receive additional scholarship money.

“The Culinary Clash is always an enjoyable and rewarding experience for not only the student chefs but the judges, guests, and hotel and restaurant team,” says Gail Gerber, Area Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are excited to continue to support the culinary community in San Francisco but also showcase the emerging talents of these student chefs year-after-year.”

Submissions are judged on consistency with Luce’s style, as well as the ability to execute the menu within a particular price point. Chef Corey narrows down and selects the top six students to participate in an on-campus culinary challenge. The top three winners of the on-campus challenge continue on to have their menu featured at Luce. The fourth, fifth, and sixth place winners serve as sous chefs to the competing student chefs, helping execute the appetizer, entrée, and dessert dishes for restaurant guests. The students will also be in charge of pairing wines with their dishes, working in tandem with Wine Steward John Wight.

A portion of proceeds from each menu sold during the three dinners will go to the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. The three-course dinners are offered at $40 per person on the following dates, with one student featured each night: Sunday, March 9, 2014; Sunday, March 16, 2014; and Sunday, March 23, 2014. Wine pairing, tax and gratuity are not included.

Daniel Corey assists Luce Finalist Juliet Fine

Daniel Corey assists Luce Finalist Juliet Fine

imageLe Cordon Bleu finalists competing in Luce’s Culinary Clash and the date their menu will be featured are as follows:

Sunday, March 9: Student Chef Ruhi Johar

New to the culinary scene, Ruhi Johar had never worked in the restaurant industry prior to starting school at Le Cordon Bleu. Born in the island country of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, Johar has led a global life with Australian citizenship and experience living all over the world. With a background in IT, Johar pursued a culinary school education after realizing she found more joy from food than from her computer-heavy job. In addition to highly anticipating the Culinary Clash, Johar enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband at home in Pleasanton, California and collecting old cookbooks.

Chef Austin AlexanderSunday, March 16: Student Chef Austin Alexander

Austin Alexander may have started his restaurant career in the front of the house, but the Wildomar, California native was drawn to the back of the house where he was inspired to enroll in culinary school. At Le Cordon Bleu, Alexander loves the freedom to create his own dishes and work with his hands. With his favorite course being Contemporary Cuisine, it’s no surprise that the Tiburon, California resident draws inspiration from Copenhagen’s René Redzepi of Noma. While Alexander dreams of heading a Michelin star restaurant, he also enjoys tennis, camping, surfing, and fishing.

Chef Ronak NandaSunday, March 23: Student Chef Ronak Nanda

Throughout his life, Ronak Nanda’s culinary passion was influenced by the women in his life including his mother, grandmother, and aunt. The Mumbai, India native had a unique start to his industry career as a flight attendant for Jet Airways. After always wanting to go to culinary school, Nanda moved to San Francisco and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu’s Associate of Occupational Studies program in 2005 where he currently works on improving his skills and dreams of owning his own restaurant. In addition to his favorite patisserie and baking classes at school, Nanda enjoys running and is looking forward to cooking in the Luce kitchen.

For more information on Luce at the InterContinental® San Francisco and further details on the Culinary Clash, please visit