Kristen Thibeault has been crowned the 11th winner of the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition help at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California.
Thibeault, who studies at Le Cordon Bleu College in Boston and describes herself as a vegan chef, was competing against nine other young talents but shone through and wowed judges with her Porcini Crusted Vegan Sweetbreads.
Dana Cowin of Food & Wine, Betsy Andrews of Saveur and Mitchell Davis of The James Beard Foundation were among some of the judges during the two day final.
Speaking after receiving the award, Thibeault said: "I can't even believe it happened with the many other talented chefs here. Now, I want to continue becoming the best chef I can be, be an amazing spokesperson and just further my culinary career."
As part of the competition she will now receive a one-year paid apprenticeship with one of the chef judges from the competition plus winnings of $13,000 to help kick start her culinary career.
Other worthy mentions from the final include: Jean-Christophe Comtois who won the Mystery Basket award and online Acqua Panna Fan Favorite Award for his succulent dish of milk veal tenderloin, matsutake and flavored polenta and Ace Gonzalez who won the signature dish prize for her Mole Pipian with Pork Belly.
We look forward to watching Thibeault as her career develops - a great prospect for the future.