UMass Dining Chefs Capture Gold for 7th Straight Year at Collegiate Culinary Competition

UMass Amherst chefs
From left, Pamela Adams, Anthony Jung, Vice Chancellor Andy Mangels, Robert Bankert and Matthia Accurso.

AMHERST, Mass. – UMass Dining took gold for the seventh year in a row at the American Culinary Federation-sanctioned competition held June 9 during the 23rd annual Tastes of the World Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

UMass Amherst chefs Pamela Adams, Matthia Accurso, Anthony Jung and Robert Bankert competed against 14 other culinary teams from across the United States and Canada. Teams from schools such as Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State used bronzino, grass-fed beef tri-tip, amaranth, Thai basil, fresh peaches and raspberries to create their dishes.  

The UMass Amherst team’s winning menu consisted of three courses and a buffet service. Their meal included a first course of chicken mousseline made with cauliflower cream, wilted arugula, charred red pepper jam and pickled cauliflower. Their second course of lemon-marinated, pan-roasted bronzino featured sweet potato-seafood croquette with sautéed snap peas, slow-cooked tomato, a red lentil-bacon puree and Jonah crab-mussel emulsion. For their third course they delivered a contemporary pâte à choux swan with sautéed peaches atop vanilla kulfi in raspberry sauce garnished with candied cashews. The buffet service was tri-tip beef with mint and a Thai basil chimichurri, amaranth pilaf, sautéed Swiss chard and charred carrots.

UMass Amherst Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Andy Mangels opened the award ceremony with a reflection on the conference, “We’re extremely honored to be hosting this conference on campus this year. The culinary talent for the 52 schools and 398 attendees represented is truly a reflection of the excellent state of college and university dining throughout the United States and Canada. It’s great to see the collaboration and energy of all the chefs and managers in attendance during the week.”

Skidmore College also achieved a gold for its menu. 

The 2017 Chef Culinary Conference focused on the power of food and its impact on health, community, neighbors, the nation and the world. The seminars and workshops promoted health, sustainability and food ethics to meet the growing diversity of consumer preferences. Hundreds of chefs and food service directors from the U.S. and Canada attended, making this year’s conference the largest in its history.

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