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Sandra Canella-Rawls of the Miami Culinary Institute Named as a Semi-Finalist for Prestigious ACF Pastry Chef of the Year Award Competition


Miami, January 30, 2014 - Adjunct Instructor Sandra Canella-Rawls of the Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) at Miami Dade College (MDC) has spent the past 20 years working as a pastry chef, executive pastry chef and head baker. And soon she’ll be competing for the title of Pastry Chef of the Year, as she was recently named as a semi-finalist for the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) 2014 Competition at the Southeast Region Conference in April.

“I’m very excited. After working so hard so many years, I thought it would be good to get into the competition scene,” said Canella-Rawls, who’s taught baking and pastry at the MCI for the past year and a half.

Canella-Rawls said her superb organizational skills, which she exhibits in the classroom, should take her far in the competition, which will be held in Charleston, South Carolina. Each contender will be judged in a number of categories, including sanitation, organization, baking technique and the final product. The winner will go on to compete for the National Pastry Chef of the Year Award, which has a grand prize of $5,000.

In addition to MCI, the Brazilian native has taught at culinary schools in California, Orlando and Brazil, among other locations. Canella-Rawls has also authored Pao: Arte & Ciencia, a book about breads and doughs, which was the recipient of the “The Best Bread Book of 2005” award by the Gourmand Association in Germany. She recently finished a second book, which explores thickeners in the pastry shop.

 "Sandra's nomination as a semi-finalist for the American Culinary Federation Pastry Chef of the Year Award is a true recognition of her skills and dedication to her art,” stated MCI’s Culinary Chair, Collen Engle. “Sandra is a real asset to our program at the Miami Culinary Institute and this will further enhance the learning experience for our students. Her kind of spirit and drive are also present in all our great professors."

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