Gelato Team USA Wins 1st Place in Ice Sculpture Category at 2016 Gelato World Cup

Gelato Team USA scored first place in the ice sculpture discipline during the seventh edition of the Gelato World Cup. The competition was held January 23- 25, 2016 in Rimini, Italy during Sigep, an international exhibition for artisan production of gelato, pastry, confectionery and bakery and all things Italian food.

The 2016 Gelato Team USA is a five-member team formed by ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon and includes chefs from different areas of the U.S.  The team was led by three American Culinary Federation (ACF) chefs from the Western region:

  • Dirk Koeppenkastrop, Ph.D., owner, II Gelato Hawaii, Honolulu, ACF Honolulu Chapter, team captain
  • John Hui, CEPC, AAC, corporate pastry chef, Pebble Beach Resorts, Pebble Beach, California, ACF Chefs Las Vegas, team manager
  • Chris Foltz, culinary instructor, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Oregon, ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon, team ice carver
  • Michele Pompei, partner, Lisa Dupar Catering, Redmond, Washington, team lead pastry chef
  • Tim Brown, baking/pastry instructor, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island, team pastry chef


During the culinary competition, Gelato Team USA competed in seven different championship tests, and ranked well in many, including:

  • ice sculpture (first place)
  • mystery box (third place)
  • grand buffet finale (fifth place)
  • decorated sundae (sixth place)
  • entree with gourmet gelato – gastronomic ice cream (sixth place)


Gelato Team USA placed seventh overall out of 13 countries. The overall winner of the 2016 Gelato World Cup was Italy, followed by Spain and Australia.

 “The timely delivery of all elements is important in order to achieve high scores,” says Hui. “We made it in all of the disciplines; that alone is a big achievement.”

Hui was one of the founders of Gelato Team USA in 2005, the team manager for 2016 and one of the international judges during the competition.

A team from the U.S. has competed in seven gelato world championships since the competition launched in 2006 where the U.S. won “Best Gelato Cake.” In 2008, they won “Best Gelato Tub” and received the international “Best Taste” award and “People’s Choice” award in 2012.

The international main sponsors for Gelato Team USA include the Italian gelato ingredient manufacturer Stella and the Italian gelato equipment manufacturer Cattabriga – both major names in the gelato making industry.

The countries participating in the Gelato World Cup this year were Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay and the United States. Each team chose a theme, which was reflected in their seven different championship tests. Gelato Team USA’s theme was “Fire & Ice.”

Congrats to the 2016 Gelato Team USA on a successful competition!