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Oak Brook, IL -- November 2016 – Eight chefs from IACC-member properties across the US gathered recently to compete for the coveted USA Copper Skillet at the Hilton Chicago | Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, where the winners edged one step closer to the International Copper Skillet Competition global finale next April.

Shane Hawkins, Lead Cook at Stonewall Resort, took the “Junior Category US Copper Skillet Award” for his winning dish in the cook-off.  Local judges named Hawkins the winner for his dish of red potato hash, lightly fried striped bass with white wine butter, and seared New York strip with portabella.

Sebastien Layen, Executive Chef at Benchmark at Deloitte University, took the coveted “Senior Category Copper Skillet Award” for his winning dish of whole grain-crusted striped bass with root vegetable hash, New York brim, blueberry gastric, and tomato pie.

In the competition, the chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a "mystery basket" of proteins. They were given 30 minutes to prepare, create and present their creations to local area judges.  

Dan Techman, Director of Sales and Marketing, President Abraham Lincoln Springfield | A Double Tree by Hilton, and board member of IACC-Americas chapter, commented, “Each year IACC showcases the best in culinary performance through its Copper Skillet competitions, and this year’s US cook-off featured impressive talent from eight chefs who competed from around the country.” Techman continued, “The chefs competing today represent the best of the best from across the United States, competing for the opportunity to represent the Americas in the global Copper skillet final in Los Angeles in April.” 

For the third year in the 13-year history of the Copper Skillet Competition, IACC introduced a Junior Chef category where IACC conference venue chefs under the age of 26 competed in the cook-off.

The winners of the upcoming US and Canadian cook-off to be held in Philadelphia next February (both senior chef and junior chef categories) will go on to compete with other chefs from IACC chapters around the world at the International Copper Skillet Competition to be held during the IACC-Americas Connect conference in April 2017 at UCLA Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles.  Here the 14th International Copper Skillet Global Champion will be named.

The popular Copper Skillet Competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centers around the world, and to honor their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference center experience. 

About IACC

The IACC Mission Statement: "To bring together the brightest industry minds to promote the best meeting venues, which deliver exceptional meeting experiences.  There are meetings... And then there are IACC Meetings".

The IACC Vision: “IACC is a global community of passionate people and organizations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.

”Founded in 1981, IACC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of meetings-focused venues and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional IACC meeting experience. Active members meet a set of stringent global Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics.

Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Kenya, Nigeria, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and the Philippines. For more information, visit the website at

Contact: Mark Cooper

Contact: Ken Ellens / 201-758-2864

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