You never know where a career in culinary arts will take you. Perhaps even to Disney to be featured in an episode of “Foodtastic”. Chef Chris Foltz, a chef instructor for Southwestern’s Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI), got the opportunity to do just that!
“Foodtastic” is a global competition in which artists create “extravagant scene work and larger-than-life sculptures made entirely out of food,” according to a description provided by Disney.
Chef Foltz and other competitors took vegetables, butter, fruit, cheese and other everyday foods and transformed them into Disney-based sculptures and “food-scapes.” And since we’re talking about Chef Foltz, of course his creation included sculpted ice! After all, he did score the title 2021 World Champion Ice Sculptor Professional Division, at the 2021 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Each of the 11 episodes follows three teams that design and build the food art pieces, transforming iconic Disney characters into extravagant masterpieces telling a story.
The judges then select one winner per episode based on design, technical skills and narrative. The winning team in each episode gets a unique “Foodtastic”- inspired pin.
Chef Foltz along with his team, Trey Woods (a SWOCC alum) and friend and fellow chef Brian Edwards, competed in two episodes — one telling Simba’s story from “The Lion King” and another creating Chicken Day, Gonzo’s holiday from “The Muppets”.
“This was a great opportunity for us!” says Foltz. “The invitation from Disney Productions to participate in this new program made us very proud and grateful. My current culinary students were super excited to see me on TV. They’ve been full of questions about it.”
Foltz coaches an elite group of culinary students on OCCI’s Collegiate Ice Team. They are currently gearing up to compete in the 2022 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska in February. Making this years’ competition even more special, the team has been given the opportunity to carve a piece for the front entrance of the venue!
Nick Graham, a second-year student who completed the Culinary Program and is currently in the Baking Program, will be working with Chef Foltz to defend his world title at the Championships this year. Graham has been with the ice team since he started at OCCI in 2020. We’re excited to see all the great work from these fantastic and dedicated students.
“Foodtastic” can be viewed on Disney+ with a subscription.
Photo left to right: Chef Brian Edwards, Chef Chris Foltz, Trey Woods