Cameron Bevan cooked up some amazing desserts like rice pudding beignets with cabernet coulis and chocolate cream, light and dark chocolate-covered bacon with rice pudding sauce – Wait, chocolate-covered bacon?  “Just about everyone loves sweet and salty together. And bacon has such a rich smoky taste. We’re seeing in so many desserts now – bacon ice cream, bacon crumbled on cake, you name it. It’s a hot new trend, so I figured it would be a hit,” he smiled.  And it was! 

The 28-year-old student from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale recently won the title of “All Mixed Up Champion” on the third and final episode of “All Mixed Up” on Lifetime TV, hosted by celebrity chef and TV personality Ralph Pagano. The student chefs had to complete with an appetizer, entrée and a dessert in 30 minutes.   

Reflecting on the contest, Cameron said he created some recipe ideas a few days before the shoot, but that everyone had to think on their feet once they knew the exact ingredients they would be provided.  And Chef Pagano threw in some extra curves, like cutting down their time or taking away some of their tools.

Cameron moved to Fort Lauderdale from Las Vegas in 2011. “It was frightening as I came with just enough money to live on for two weeks, so I had to make something happen fast,” he said.  He’s worked part time at several area restaurants to make ends meet, but currently is just focused on his culinary courses. 

And he has high praise for his instructors. “The chefs here are really good – I’ve learned a lot of cooking techniques and kitchen management,” he said.  He added that Chef Marcela Guzman encouraged him to try out for “All Mixed Up.”

“Hosting ‘All Mixed Up’ on our campus and having our students compete was one of the most exciting events I’ve seen here,” said Claude Toland, president of The Art Institute.  “Cameron Bevan came from behind to win the dessert round and the overall competition, impressing the judges with his creativity by using all three secret ingredients in all three of his desserts.”

Chef Jack Kane, academic director of culinary arts, echoed President Toland’s sentiments, saying that the contest “offered our culinary students a wonderful opportunity to show the quality of their culinary education to television audiences across the country. In the end, Cameron won because he was willing to take a creative risk with his desserts – and made it work for the judges.”

Like a lot of chefs and chefs-in-the-making, Cameron would like to open his own restaurant some day.  

The public can sample students’ cuisine at the Art Institute’s Chef’s Palette Café & Grill. 

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