Recent graduates of Bidwell Training Center’s Culinary Arts program, Brandy Jackson and Lynette Watkins, collectively won the prestigious American Culinary Federation (ACF) $8000 William Foust Scholarship.

 

The pair joined BTC Culinary Arts director, Anthony Taglieri and BTC instructor/ACF Pittsburgh Chapter President, Brian Buskey on a trip to the annual ACF National Conference in Las Vegas from July 25th to July 28th. “They just worked every single bit of it as hard as they could at the trade shows,” says Chef Buskey, “They were out there meeting and greeting and just getting tons of contacts. I couldn’t have been happier.”

Jackson and Watkins were the first students under Chef Taglieri’s leadership to attend the convention. “It was jam-packed with breakout sessions that covered every topic imaginable, from staff retention to market trends,” said Taglieri. “Sustainable seafood practices, charcuterie, bourbon tastings, street food in central and south America to ultra high-end produce grown in Ohio at chef's garden.  The event equaled 23 continuing education hours.”

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Pictured, Chef Brian Buskey,Brandy Jackson, and Lynette Watkins

“Bidwell has prepared me with a wealth of knowledge that I get an opportunity to explore,” said, “They also have provided me the confidence to ask questions and challenge myself to grow in this industry.”

-BTC Alumnus, Lynette Watkins

Both Chef Taglieri and Chef Buskey encouraged Brandy and Lynette to apply for the scholarship. “I heard about the ACF scholarship opportunity from Chef Anthony,” said Brandy, “Chef Brian (Buskey) encouraged my application, and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to highlight my culinary/hospitality/ and creative writing skills.”

 

Both students credit Bidwell Training Center with getting them ready for the next stage in their careers. “Bidwell has prepared me to stand proud among Chef's, culinary students, and foodservice professionals and continue to passionately learn,” said Brandy, “I pride myself in learning because it has afforded me my greatest life experiences.” She looks forward to using the skills and resources learned during the conference to grow her business, Branseats LLC. Lynette used the opportunity in Las Vegas to expand on the lessons she learned in BTC’s Culinary Arts program. “Bidwell has prepared me with a wealth of knowledge that I get an opportunity to explore,” said Watkins, “They also have provided me the confidence to ask questions and challenge myself to grow in this industry.”