UMass Dining Strikes Gold in Canadian Culinary Competition

UMass Dining team members (from left) manager Heather Scoble and chefs Matthia Accurso, Bob Bankert and Alanna Davies.
UMass Dining team members (from left) manager Heather Scoble and chefs Matthia Accurso, Bob Bankert and Alanna Davies.

AMHERST, Mass. – For the first time in its history, UMass Dining Services claimed first place and a gold medal in the annual culinary competition hosted by the Canadian College and University Food Service Association (CCUFSA) in Collingwood, Ontario. 

During the annual conference held June 27-30, chefs Matthia Accurso, Bob Bankert, Alanna Davies and manager Heather Scoble bested the competition with a three-course meal consisting of a crispy Florentine ravioli with charred tomato sauce, wild mushrooms; spring garlic-ricotta cream, pea greens and crispy mushrooms; charcoal-grilled beef; smoked potato bacon terrine; fire-roasted corn and grilled asparagus; Black Forest mountain s’more with bourbon dark chocolate ganache, graham cracker mountains, toasted meringue, cherries and caramelized sugar. 

In addition to taking top place, the UMass Dining team was also awarded best pasta dish for their crispy Florentine ravioli and people’s choice award voted on by the nearly 300 conference participants.

The win comes a month after the UMass Dining team scored their eighth consecutive team gold at the 24th annual chef culinary conference held at UMass Amherst.

Commenting on the victory in Canada, Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary enterprises at UMass Amherst, said, “We were thrilled by the results. I am so proud of our UMass culinary team and how well they worked together. It is never easy to win in another country and we did it. Thank you and Go UMass!” 

CCUFSA’s mission is to enhance the quality of campus life through the growth and development of food service operations in Colleges and Universities. Formed in Ontario in 1978, the association has grown into a national group composed of food service directors and managers from self-operated and contracted schools, as well as senior administrators that oversee food services as part of their portfolio.