Culinary Challenge Awards

The Culinary Challenge recognizes the exceptional culinary expertise within collegiate dining. The Challenge is a live competition at the regional level with regional winners advancing to the National Conference where they will compete before a live audience. The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) recognizes the skills necessary for chefs to bring together within their creations – a combination of organization, talent, technique, taste, and style. The winner of the Culinary Challenge receives a medal from the American Culinary Federation, recognition during National Conference and is highlighted in Campus Dining Today®, the official magazine of NACUFS.

The individual competitors will face off against the clock to prepare a creative entrée, featuring the mandatory ingredients, Cornish hen and black beluga lentils, to create a nutritionally balanced plate. In 2020, only the Midwest Region was able to hold their regional competition and select a winner. For the other five regions, the winner will be selected at the 2021 regional conferences, using the same list of competitors as was selected to compete in the 2020 competitions.