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Orlando Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu Program Helps Threshold Center for Autism Raise an Estimated $50,000

Orlando (May 4, 2009) – On Saturday, April 25, Orlando Culinary Academy (OCA) Le Cordon Bleu Program and sister school International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT) hosted the 2009 Chef Challenge, an elegant epicurean evening, to benefit Threshold Center for Autism. Threshold, a non-profit, has been the place to turn to for parents with autistic children for more than 30 years. The proceeds of an estimated $50,000 will go to the construction of a state-of-the-art activities center for the developmentally disabled of Central Florida.

Two of Orlando's finest, Chef Lionel Heydel of OCA and Chef Bram Fowler of Journey's Restaurant, battled it out in front of a live audience of over 130 and an esteemed panel of judges. The evening began at 6:00 pm with a cocktail reception, followed by a silent auction. At 7:00pm, Master of Ceremonies Dennis Salvagio kicked-off the chef challenge dinner in the beautifully transformed Kitchen Stadium at OCA.

The audience of foodies watched in awe as the chefs quickly prepared their meals. Each guest dined to a total of seven courses; three courses from each chef and a surprise Alaskan dessert prepared by students from OCA. After each course, guests cast their votes for their favorite dishes.

An esteemed panel of judges, including Chef Richard Barth, CEC and OCA Culinary Department Chair, Ellen Hutter of Restaurant Forum magazine, Hyatt Regency Executive Chef David Didzunas and well-known Chef Christopher Robb Murray, critiqued each dish based on quality, originality and presentation. At the end of the evening, Chef Fowler was awarded top honor as the 2009 Chef Challenge Winner.

"OCA and IADT are so pleased to have been given the opportunity to host the Chef Challenge for the second year in a row and help raise awareness of autism," said OCA President Joe Hardiman. "We are proud to have helped Threshold achieve their goals of raising approximately $50,000."

In addition to the 50 OCA students who helped the chefs prepare the dishes and serve the guests, 20 students from IADT assisted in setting up and filming the event. Students from the UCF Business school, Cornerstone program and an Event Planning class also participated in the event.

About Orlando Culinary Academy
Established in 2002, Orlando Culinary Academy (OCA) is a premier culinary arts school, providing Le Cordon Bleu training in a hands-on, small classroom environment. Orlando Culinary Academy offers specialized Associate Degrees in Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie and Baking, Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality and Restaurant Management, and Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. Orlando Culinary Academy is an affiliate of Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, one of the largest providers of quality culinary arts education. Few institutions possess the distinguished reputation of Le Cordon Bleu, the renowned cooking school with Parisian roots dating back to 1895. The campus is over 30,000 square feet, equipped with computer labs and instructional, industry current kitchens and located close to downtown Orlando. Orlando Culinary Academy is a member of the Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) network of universities, colleges and schools. For more information, please call 407-888-4000 or log on to: www.orlandoculinary.com.

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