This year’s event featured a surprise and challenging vegetarian theme and chefs were presented a mystery basket filled with fresh produce, grains and protein ingredients to use in their preparation. Each chef was given 15 minutes to review the items and plan their dish, and then 30 minutes for the cook-off.
Chef Heibert’s winning dish included roasted fennel, asparagus, and shiitake mushrooms with pickled rhubarb, shallots, garnished with cheddar cheese, thyme, fennel-dill and curled rhubarb and fennel over quinoa.
Born and raised in Stockholm Sweden, Chef Heibert started his culinary education at the early age of 16 in Åre, North Sweden. He earned his Philosophy Candidate Degree in The Culinary Arts at the University of Grythyttan, Örebro Sweden.
Theis Christensen, Executive Chef, Comwell Holte (Denmark) won second place honors and Sander Westerman, Executive Chef, Blooming Hotel & Conference Estate (The Netherlands)
The other chefs who won their regional cook-offs and the right to represent their country in the competition included:
Jesse Huges, Sous Chef, Vue Grand Hotel (Australia)
Murray Hall, Executive Chef, BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning (Canada)
Katsunori Hirata, Chef de Cuisine, Tokyo Conference Centre (Japan)
Abduilah Azzubair, Head Chef, Royal College of Physicians (United Kingdom)
CJ Chambers, Exec Sous Chef, Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center (USA)
Guest judges included:
Brian Robertson, Executive Chef San Luis Resort, Galveston, TX;
Matt Gray, Executive Chef, La Torretta Lake Resort, Montgomery, TX;
Tyler Davidson, Chief Content Editor, Meetings Focus magazines;
and Tom Bolman, retiring Executive Vice President of IACC.
IACC’s popular Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centres around the world and to honour their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference centre experience.
A high-resolution image of Chef Johan Heibert is attached.
Mission Statement: The International Association of Conference Centres is the thought leader on the meeting experience. IACC represents its members by defining and promoting the IACC Meeting Concept and providing learning opportunities.
Founded in 1981, the International Association of Conference Centres is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference centre industry and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional meeting experience. Active members meet a set of Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Japan. For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org. “There are meetings and then there are IACC meetings.”