University News

UMass Dining to Celebrate Black History Month with Two Acclaimed Chefs

AMHERST, Mass. – As part of UMass Amherst’s celebration of Black History Month, award-winning UMass Dining will host a week-long dining event in the Campus Center Auditorium featuring acclaimed chefs Kevin Mitchell and Paulette Ngachoko from Feb. 7-11 from 5 to 8 p.m. each day.

UMass Dining celebrating Black History Month event

Mitchell, to be featured on Feb. 7 and 8, has become one of Charleston, South Carolina’s most recognizable and accomplished chefs. As an instructor, historian and scholar of historical foodways of the American South, Mitchell works tirelessly to preserve southern ingredients and champion the historical significance of African Americans in the culinary arts. His menu will include items such as Catfish and Crab Stew, Hoppin’ John Fritters with Tomato Gravy, and Mushroom Pilau to name a few. There will be a limited supply of Mitchell’s most recent cook books that will be raffled off.

Paulette Ngachoko, to be featured Feb. 9 and 10, is founder and CEO of Hapi African Gourmet. She is a native of Cameroon who came to the United States more than 20 years ago after spending four years in Burkina Faso. She is a trained lawyer who had a career in financial services and international development prior to starting a food business. Her focus on sustainable and smart development was a catalyst in launching Hapi African Gourmet. Hapi African Gourmet offers authentic, plant based, nutritious and flavorful sauces, frozen meals and seasoning. Her menu will feature a selection of West African cuisine including Jollof Rice, Puff Puff/ Makala and Soya/ Brochettes.

The final day, Feb. 11, will feature a menu inspired by the founders of Modern African American Cuisine. Menus from chefs Leah Chase, Darryl Evans, Robert W. Lee, Joe Randall and Patrick Clark will be featured.

Executive Director of Auxiliary Enterprises Ken Toong is excited about the visiting chefs, noting, “Our customers are in for a treat. I’m looking forward to be able to share the upcoming authentic cuisines with our students, as we come together and celebrate the profound role that African Americans have played in every facet of our nation, including culinary. You can feel the passion of Chef Mitchell and Chef Ngachoko when looking at what will be served.

All meal plans, cash and credit cards will be accepted at the entrance.

UMass Dining is the largest collegiate dining program in America and is a recognized leader among college dining programs because of its focus on quality ingredients and meals, customer service, student health and wellness, customization options, an appreciation of global influences and modern eating trends, and creating community on campus. Its mission is to support and improve the student experience at UMass Amherst.