Dining Services team wins gold in chefs' competition

A team of Dining Services chefs won a gold medal June 20 during the Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference held on campus.

Chef Tony Jung of Berkshire Dining Commons led the team, whose other members were chef Simon Stevenson, pastry; chef Chi Cuong Huynh, catering; and chef Christine DePault, also of Berkshire Dining Commons.

Each team was given a mystery basket containing two proteins, vegetables and fruits. Their goal was to produce a three-course dinner with various combinations out of five categories: soup, appetizer, salad, entree and dessert with a strong focus on smaller portions and bold flavor. Six judges rated the dishes on taste, flavor, creativity, nutritional value and presentation. The winning dishes created by the campus team were mushroom-crusted red snapper with mussels and scallops, pan-roasted duck breast with cranberry-pear compote, and a trio of fruits with almond cookie and strawberry couli.

The Dining Services squad shared top honors with chefs from Harvard University and Delaware North, a food management company, in the 15-team competition. Two teams were awarded silver medals and 10 teams received bronze medals.

“This confirms the fact that the UMass culinary team is one of the best and we will continue to improve,” said Ken Toong, director of Dining Services.

Dining Services chefs (from left) Chi Cuong Huynh, Simon Stevenson, Christine DePault and Tony Jung display their gold-medal winning creations. (Ken Toong photo)