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Student Pat O’Brien Medals in Culinary Competition

Pat O'Brien medals in culinary competitionMy student/customer , Pat O’Brien went from beginning fruit carver, to contest medalist, to carving for a TV show in about 8 months. I’m proud of his speedy progress and want to share his story with you. I hope that you will find some inspiration from Pat’s experience.

Customer/Student from Beginner to Contest Medalist and Now
Gets Opportunity to Carve for TV

About a year and a half ago Patrick O”Brien stumbled across my website and purchased the 3D Pumpkin carving video tutorials by Ray Villafane that I sell in my online shop. Pat loved it!  He found himself content to carve pumpkins late into the wee hours of the morning. When pumpkins were no longer in season, he carved butternut squash instead.

About 8 months ago, Pat started carving fruits and vegetables and got hooked. Three months ago Pat wrote to tell me,

Thank you Nita! I learned in class how to do a melon ball in October and received your 101 class for a gift shortly afterwards. Ever since I’ve been hooked! This is my latest melon I carved getting ready for my first competition. Thank you so much!”

Carved Canteloupe by Pat O'Brien

Carved Canteloupe by Pat O’Brien

Only two months after that Pat entered his first American Culinary Federation (AFC) competition and won a silver medal. Here is what Pat had to say.

Hey Nita,
Just wanted to share a photo of my first ACF student competition piece at the Wake Tech Culinary Arts Showcase earlier this week. I was the only fruit carver in a room full of chocolate and sugar sculptures and a ton of wedding cakes. I received a silver medal and recorded the 5th highest score overall out of 90 competitors. Thank you for all your wonderful videos and inspiration.
Thank you,
Patrick O’Brien

If you have “Liked” my Facebook page at you may remember seeing photos of Pat’s Carving display where he won a medal at his first ACF competition in April. Here is Pat with his winning competition entry and his “little man”.

Pat O'Brien wins medal in his first competition

Pat O’Brien wins medal in his first ACF competition. Pat is the man in the white jacket , not the one wearing the medal. :~)



Here is a closer look at some of the detail of Pat’s winning competition entry.



Honeydew rose on cantaloupe with daikon butterfly by Pat O’Brien.

Now Pat O’Brien is thrilled to have an opportunity for his carving work and maybe him, to be on national TV.

Hi Nita,
…..I have some exciting news. I carved a melon for some friend’s wedding party that was catered by Corey Brinson, a former winner of BBQ Pitmasters. He is such a wonderful guy and has invited me to carve for an event he is in charge of for the Destination America channel for the 4th of July!!! My carvings will be featured in the VIP tent for the Red White and You event here in Fayetteville. Hopefully either my work, myself, or both will make it on national TV! I am so excited and have a lot of work to do. I’m planning 16-20 melons and can’t wait to get started. Thank you so much for your tutelage and support. …..
I can’t tell you how much you’re work and dvds have inspired me. Thank you for leading the way in carving and teaching me (virtually of course) so much.
Have a wonderful day, Patrick O’Brien”


Close up of the carver honeydew that was part of Pat O’Brien’s competition entry



Another look at more colorful details of Pat’s competition entry



Watermelon carving with lady radish lady bug was also a part of Pat’s display.

Pat, Thanks for sharing your good news and best of luck with your upcoming carving event for TV. I’m sure that you and your carvings will be an inspiration to many aspiring fruit carvers. We wish you all the best. And, we will be looking for you on TV.

For those of you who will be in or near Fayetteville, North Carolina, swing by the Red White and You celebration. The city’s July 4 celebration will feature Grammy Award-winning multi-genre artists the Mavericks, performances by the 82nd Airborne Chorus and local musical acts and more.

If you have been toying with the idea of learning to carve, or of perhaps joining a competition, go for it. It’s lots of fun and who knows, maybe you’ll end up on TV, too.

To see another recent success story, check our my last blog about Yolanda Diaz’ success at creating a lovely display for her America Culinary Federation chapter meeting and share her excitement at carving her first scroll pattern watermelons.

Too see Pat’s carvings for the Red, White and You celebration that we published since writing this article, click here.

Learn to carve like a pro

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7 Responses to Student Pat O’Brien Medals in Culinary Competition

  1. Eric Hubbs July 3, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    So amazing Pat!!! You are such a talented artist! I am extremely impressed!!!

  2. MARY JOSEPH December 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm #


  3. Saada Al Taei March 1, 2015 at 2:22 am #

    Its a wondefull carving

  4. Ric Testani March 21, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    WOW his work is just beautiful. The detail and the neatness of the detail makes his work so amazing. I wish him all the luck and success in the world. A truly gifted artist.

  5. Joyce wong October 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Fantastisch !Succes!

  6. Una April 16, 2017 at 6:55 am #

    Thanks so much Pat for sharing your beautiful carvings display. Quite inspirational indeed.

  7. Patricia Robinson July 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Beautiful I love it Pat

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