Culinary Challenge

Live lobsterThe Culinary Challenge recognizes outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services. The winners of each of the association's regional culinary contests square off at the national conference for gold, silver, and bronze medals before a live audience of college and university foodservice managers and industry suppliers.

The 2014 Culinary Challenge will take place on Thursday, July 10, at the Hilton Baltimore, during the national conference. Competitors are required to incorporate the featured protein, live lobster. (See rules for portion sizes and specifications.)   

The Culinary Challenge is sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and is being sponsored by US Foods, Sea to Table and Chef Revival. 

Congratulations to Bryce Benes of Orange Coast College—the 2013 winner of the NACUFS Culinary Challenge!


Culinary Challenge winner Bryce Benes of Orange Coast College with 2013 Culinary Challenge Chair Mark O. Zieres of the University of Wyoming. Benes won for his dish, Duo of Duck: Crispy pan seared breast with cherry gastrique/cassoulet style confit.



2013 Culinary Challenge Contestants

Jeremy Allen Elmore, University of Missouri, Midwest Region 
Donald James Stauffer, University of Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic Region 
Brian Matthew Hancock, Georgia Southern University, Southern Region 
Cyril Ortigosa-Liaz, Yale University, Northeast Region
Bryce Benes, Orange Coast College, Pacific Region
Peter Michael Testory, Colorado State University, Continental Region 

Culinary Challenge Judges

NACUFS would like to thank the following ACF-sanctioned judges for agreeing to judge the 2013 Challenge:

Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC (lead judge)
Mark Spelman, CEC, AAC
Richard Schneider, CMC, AAC

Culinary Challenge MC
Mark Eggerding, US Foods