Paul Smith's College student heading to California to become 'Almost Famous'

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Dominick Tironi after his win in Boston

PAUL SMITHS, NY (02/27/2015)(readMedia)-- Paul Smith's College senior Dominick Tironi will face off against some of the best culinary students in North America next month when he heads to Napa Valley, Calif., for his chance to win the coveted S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef title and a one-year paid apprenticeship with a celebrity chef.

Tironi earned his spot in the event by prevailing in a regional cooking competition in Boston where he beat out five students from other Northeast colleges and took home the People's Choice award. His victory in the regionals represents back-to-back wins for Paul Smith's.

"I worked hard on this dish and practiced a lot for the competition," Tironi said. "I was happy that my hard work paid off. Once it all sank in I was really proud."

During the national event, which will be held March 14-15, Tironi will face four students from the International Culinary Center in New York City, Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Kendall College in Chicago and the University of Nevada, Reno. The competitors will each prepare a dish based solely on ingredients provided at the competition, as well as the signature dish that landed them in the finals. Up to $10,000 in prize money will be awarded.

"I am kind of nervous about going off to California," Tironi admitted. "I will be facing four other regional winners, so it's whole different ballpark. But I am looking forward to it because it's going to be a once in a lifetime experience. I'm excited to show what Paul Smith's is made of."


At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. Paul Smith's, which was founded in 1946, is the only bachelor's degree-granting institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information: