Chef will try to cook his way onto culinary team


JOHN ROCCA, the executive chef at Loews Annapolis Hotel, is hot stuff these days. He is gearing up to compete tomorrow for a spot on the Culinary Team USA 2000.

Once every four years, a culinary Olympics takes place in Germany. In 1996, Rocca won silver and bronze medals as part of a team representing Maryland.

This time, he hopes to make the national team.

"I think I've got a pretty good shot," he said.

Rocca, who has worked at Loews for almost two years, earned bronze medals at two qualifying competitions this year, and has high hopes for this week's contest, which is in Chicago.

He and the other 19 contestants have been given a partial list of ingredients they may use. When the contest begins tomorrow, they will get meat and vegetables to combine with the ingredients they have been given to prepare a four-course meal for 60 people in 4 1/2 hours.

"You have to be careful because they'll try and trick you," Rocca said. "They'll give you out-of-season produce that you're supposed to give back."

Rocca will earn points for everything from taste to the presentation of his meal. Those points will be added to points he accumulated at this year's qualifying competitions. The six chefs with the highest cumulative scores will make the national team. The eight with the next highest scores will make regional teams.

All will compete in Germany in September 2000.

Seminar for race directors

The Annapolis Striders, a local runners' club, will hold a seminar for aspiring race directors from 10 a.m. to noon May 30 in the auditorium at the Rebecca M. Clatanoff Pavilion on Jennifer Road inParole.

Topics will include step-by-step instructions for staging a race.

Club membership is not required to attend. Information: 410-647-4298.

Camp registration underway

Registration is underway for a summer day camp offered by the Salvation Army of Annapolis and Southern Anne Arundel County.

The state-certified program -- for children 6 through 12 -- begins June 15 and ends Aug. 14. Children may attend the whole session, or register for individual weeks within the nine-month summer program.

Camp hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include swimming, crafts and field trips. The weekly rate for the day camp is $70 per child. A discount is given when the entire fee is paid in advance.

Space is limited to 50 children, and advance registration is required.

Information: 410-263-4091.

Jaycees to hold Basket Bingo

The Annapolis Jaycees will hold Basket Bingo at 4 p.m. May 31 at the Knights of Pythias hall in Annapolis. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Information: 410-437-0452.

GOP women schedule picnic

The Republican Women of Anne Arundel County will hold its annual picnic from 11: 30 a.m. to 2: 30 p.m. June 10 at the home of member Carol Grunwald.

All members and prospective members are welcome. Each club member should bring an entree, salad or dessert that will serve at least 10 people.

Information: 410-263-5252 or 410-263-5782.

Pub Date: 5/18/98

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