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Sanctuary chef receives award at prestigious culinary competition

By Staff | Mar 14, 2011

Chef Max Brandon Neal, right, from The Sanctuary Golf Club captured a bronze medal at the prestigious Winterfest Culinary Competition for wedding cakes.

The Sanctuary Golf Club recognizes Chef Max Brandon Neal for being awarded the third place bronze medal in the prestigious Winterfest Culinary Competition, sponsored by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) hosted earlier this year at the First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine, Fla.

This is one of the largest cooking tournaments in the Southwest Region of the United States as hundreds of chefs’ travel for hours from the states of Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina to compete in this event.

This was Neal’s first wedding cake competition, which makes his achievement even more remarkable.

“Max just has so much talent. This was the first time he has competed in this category and his final entry was very impressive,” said The Sanctuary’s Executive Chef Mark Brown. “We have a great team with some very passionate people. It is fun to be a part of.”

Neal’s entry for the competition was a chocolate almond cake with white butter cream frosting. The beautifully accented layers of frosting featured five different types of piping with pale green fondant leaves. The panel of three ACF Judges based their decision on skill level (ie degree of difficulty), overall concept, finished product and taste.

Neal is taking the lessons he learned from this competition to the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore, Ala. on May 23 and 24, where once again he will put his considerable culinary skill to the test, as he competes against more award-winning chefs from around the country.

It should also be noted that The Sanctuary’s Executive Chef Mark Brown’s step-son Derek Colglazier also won a Gold Medal in the Student Hot Food Category during this same event. Colglazier is 19 years old, attending Georgia College State University and is employed at Reynold’s Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.

“Derek did a fine job as well; we are grooming him so that one of these days he can come work with us at the Sanctuary,” added Brown.

Like father, like son; as it appears that there will be no shortage to culinary talent at The Sanctuary for years to come.