"I'm antsy, I want to get started and get it over with," says Marvin Herrera.
You wouldn't notice nerves in this kitchen. "This is a goal that I believe every chef wants to accomplish," Herrera says.
At the Augusta Country Club, some may say he's a hidden treasure. Herrera, who is the executive chef, was selected to compete to be a member of the American Culinary Federations's Team USA.
"The excitement was so great that I walked out of my office screaming and jumping because I was so happy about it," Herrera says.
Chef Herrera says it wasn't long before reality set in on just what he needed to do to win. He has to make the cut in two different competitions, each with intense judging...including staying within the allotted time. "I have been timing myself. Go into the kitchen and doing the platter from beginning to end," he says.
When we caught up with him, he was practicing one of his appetizers...striped sea bass two ways: a fritter and pan-seared, each complimented by mouth-watering sauces.
"You have to practice in an environment where you're basically by yourself, you have to concentrate," Herrera says.
There's no doubt, concentration is key, but it's not just on the food. For Herrera, it's also on what this win would mean. "It means the whole world to me. Just to be able to represent the club, represent the state of Georgia, the United States...and especially for me, because this country has adopted me," he says.
"Feel confident you can do it?" we asked. "Absolutely, absolutely!" Herrera answered.
The 6 who make the team will compete in the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2016. The first competition will be June 15th and 16th at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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