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Inside Kendall

Kendall College Student Takes S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Title

Kendall College School of Culinary Arts student Marco Bahena was named the winner of the 9th annual S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® competition held in Napa Valley, California, on March 13. This is the third win for a Kendall College student, setting the record for the school with the most wins in the event’s history. Marco takes home $13,000, winning $10,000 for the Almost Famous Chef competition and another $3,000 for his winning signature dish, Mediterranean Lamb Loin. He will also get a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity – a year-long paid apprenticeship with the participating chef judge of his choice.

The event was hosted by Gail Simmons, Food & Wine special projects director and Bravo’s “Top Chef” judge and host, and Ralph Pagano, executive chef at STK Miami, finalist from “Hell’s Kitchen,” season one, and host of the internationally broadcast travel show, “Pressure Cook.”

Judging the three days of fierce competition were a panel of celebrity chefs and media: chefs Michel Richard of Citronelle, Rick Moonen of rm Seafood, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, Jean Joho of Everest, Gary Danko of Gary Danko Restaurant, Brooke McDougall of ByMark Restaurant and Napa’s own, Bob Hurley. The chefs were joined by an elite group of media: Dana Cowin of Food & Wine Magazine, Sophie Gayot of, Mitchell Davis of The James Beard Foundation and Bonnie Stern of The National Post.

See photos from the event.

For more information on the competition and to view Marco’s biography and winning recipe, visit,, or become a fan on Facebook (

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