Guest Chef Series At UMass Amherst Features Nationally Renowned Mexican Chef on April 24

AMHERST, Mass. – Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will get to sample the regional Mexican Oaxaca cuisine of Iliana de la Vega, on Tuesday, April 24, from 5-9 p.m. in the Berkshire Dinning Commons. The chef series is managed by UMass Amherst Dining Services.

The focus of Vega’s presentation will be the diversity in Oaxaca cuisine compared to more traditional Mexican cooking. The city of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico is famous for its mole sauce, made from dry chiles, ground nuts, spices, vegetables and Mexican chocolate. The menu will feature quesadillas de papa con chile poblano, roasted tomato and jalapeno salsa, cr?ma de elote y poblanos soup, mole machamanteles, chili ancho and flan de coco.

Vega is a chef-owner of El Naranjo, a highly acclaimed restaurant in Oaxaca. She also teaches cooking classes specializing in Mexican and Oxacan cooking. She has been featured in the New York Times, Bon App?tit and other major newspapers and magazines.

Ken Toong, director of dining and retail food services, said the objective of the guest chef series is to provide students more selection. “This is not the regular Tex Mex; it’s a truly authentic Mexican regional cuisine. You will not find simply burritos here. We want our students to be exposed to Latin America cuisine, which is so rich in flavors of vegetables and fruits, as part of our goal to provide more healthy options”.

UMass Amherst Dining Services now operates the third-largest campus dining program in the country with 13,000 students on the campus meal plan.