Christopher A. Desens (known as "Chef Chris"), executive chef at Racquet Club Ladue, recently returned from a trip to Germany, where he and his team won a gold medal in the "Culinary Olympics."
Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Desens, who lives in High Ridge, reflected on his win. Desen's describes the Racquet Club Ladue as a "private club in the heart of Ladue."
"We got a gold medal which feels incredible. We placed sixth overall out of 62 teams. Just to get a gold medal was -- I don't want to say it was unexpected, because that was our goal -- but there's a lot of things that go into it."
The competition ran October 19 to the 23, but Dresens spent a total of twelve days in Germany training. His sous chefs and staff ran the Racquet Club in his absence. Before the competition, Dresens said he and his team would travel to San Jose, California to train -- perfecting their plates.
Though the team placed sixth, they still received the gold because of the points system that goes into the multi-part competition.
From a press release issued Tuesday afternoon:
Photos and the rest of Olympian story after the jump:
Dresens, third from the left, with his team from Racquet Club Ladue.
This competition brought more than 1,600 chefs from 54 nations to compete in Efurt, Germany.
Desens' American Academy of Chefs team finished sixth out of 62 regional teams.
Each team consists of five people, who compete in three categories.
The team was presented with a gold medal in the "cold food" category.
A. Cold food presented cold, a buffet platter for eight people and eight varieties of finger foods.
B. Chris' category: Hot food presented cold, a restaurant vegetarian platter for four people and a plated main entre ée plate for four.
C. Pastry, centerpiece and six varieties of petite fours
Wayne A. Sieve, apprenticing under the helm of Chef Desens, also competed with the Youth Team USA. The Youth Team -- members can be no older than 23 -- is comprised of St. Louisans.
Wayne and his team were awarded fourth overall and given a gold medal in the cold food served cold category.
The youth team competed in three categories: 1. Restaurant of the nations ala carte- 110 portions entrée only 2. Salon-selected team members have a half-hour to produce two portions of a multi-course menu.
The event was conceived in 1896 by a group of German chefs. The first competition was held in 1900, with just four nations participating, and it has grown ever since.