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Western Culinary Institute Graduate Wins Hell's Kitchen Season Six

Chef Dave Levey used skills learned at WCI in Portland to take home top prize

PORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 27, 2009) - Western Culinary Institute (WCI) graduate Chef Dave Levey was the season six winner of FOX's "Hell's Kitchen." Along with the notoriety of his first place finish, Chef Levey was awarded a head chef position working under Executive Chef James Walt at the Araxi Restaurant in Whistler, British Columbia during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"I'm extremely excited at the opportunity to work at Araxi," says Chef Levey. "Their culinary approach reminds me of some of the best restaurants in Portland, where I attended culinary school. The focus is on fresh, local ingredients which really distinguish Portland as a premiere foodie city."

As season six unfolded, Chef Levey became known for more than just his culinary skills. When he broke his wrist early in the competition, some wondered if he would continue on. Dave was also known for his laid back attitude, which he attributes to being prepared.

"Perfection was everything on 'Hell's Kitchen,'" says Chef Levey. "When I was in school at WCI, I spent a lot of time reviewing proper procedures and working hands-on in the kitchens. I learned that there are no short cuts in the professional kitchen and in the end I think that helped me win."

Chef Levey was working in the culinary industry in Flagstaff, Ariz. when he made the decision to attend WCI. In order to take his career to the next level, he felt he needed a formal education in culinary arts.

At WCI, elements of culinary training integrate the classic culinary curriculum of Le Cordon Bleu with modern technology and innovation in global cuisine. The core curriculum includes both hands-on teaching of cuisine and pastry skills and the theoretical knowledge that must underlie competency in these related fields.

"Our programs are designed to continually reinforce proper culinary procedures," said Jon Alberts, president of WCI. "The Le Cordon Bleu teaching philosophy employs a 'tell me, show me, let me' approach. In other words, students first receive instruction via lecture. Next, techniques are previewed in a demonstration format. Finally, students adjourn to one of WCI’s 13 professional teaching kitchens for hands–on practice."

Chef Dave is hoping for at least one visit to his Portland alma mater before he heads to his next adventure at Araxi in British Columbia.

About Western Culinary Institute

Western Culinary Institute (WCI), located in Portland, offers culinary students a hands-on education with experienced faculty dedicated to providing students with the necessary skills, knowledge, support and guidance to pursue fulfilling career opportunities in the culinary arts. The school offers Associate of Occupational Studies degrees in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie and Baking as well as Certificates in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts and Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie & Baking. A Bachelor of Arts in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Management online program is offered through Scottsdale Culinary Institute The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The ACCSC is a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education. WCI does not guarantee employment or salary and is a member of the Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) network of universities, colleges and schools. For more information, visit www.Chefs.edu.

About Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is produced by ITV Studios (formerly Granada America) in association with A. Smith & Co. Arthur Smith and Kent Weed serve as executive producers.

About ITV Studios, Inc.

ITV Studios, Inc., the U.S. based production entity of ITV plc in the U.K. is one of the largest international producers for the U.S. market and a major force in acquiring, developing and producing reality and scripted programming for US networks.

ITV Studios is a world leader in television production and distribution, with international production centers in the UK, Germany and Australia as well as America and programs distributed to over 155 territories worldwide.

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