UMass Dining Notches 8th Straight Win in Collegiate Culinary Competition

The prize-winning, three-course meal prepared by UMass Dining chefs.
The prize-winning, three-course meal prepared by UMass Dining chefs.
Chefs Pamela Adams, Kevin Paul, Anthony Jung and Matthia Accurso
Chefs Pamela Adams, Kevin Paul, Anthony Jung and Matthia Accurso

AMHERST, Mass. – UMass Dining brought home the gold for the eighth year in a row at the American Culinary Federation-sanctioned competition held June 8 during the 24th annual Tastes of the World Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The UMass Amherst team consisted of chefs Matthia Accurso, Pamela Adams, Kevin Paul and Anthony Jung. The competition demanded chefs test their skills against 15 other culinary teams from across the United States. Each team was required to prepare a three-course menu for the judges. Having only one hour to prepare, each team sought to deliver the highest quality combination of courses for the judges.

UMass Amherst team’s gold medal menu offered a first course of seared monkfish and scallops, a second course of pancetta bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with shiitake mushroom mousseline, and a third course no-bake goat cheese “cheesecake” with hazelnut crumble and cherry compote. The competition featured teams from universities such as Skidmore College, Penn State, Rice University and San Diego State.

Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises and co-chair of the Chef Culinary Conference, said, “We’re so fortunate to have an abundance of culinary talent in our dining program. I am so proud of our UMass team, this was truly a team effort.”

Skidmore College was also the recipient of an ACF Gold Medal.

The 24th Annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference was one of the most attended with more than 350 participants. It is regarded as the premiere gathering for food service professionals to learn more about the latest scientific research findings in nutrition, flavor trends, culinary education, and technology know how – all delivered in an engaging environment. The Chef Culinary Conference aims to bring foodservice concepts into the next generation—one that embraces nutrition, sustainability and food ethics, to meet the increasing diversity of consumers’ preferences.