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Chefs Cook Up Contest

Sarah Buckwald ’14, Staff Writer

Staff Writer Sparky’s chefs worked hard in a food competition that honored the local food movement, in which chefs prepared meals that included fresh and local ingredients. Sodexo’s “Chef Fest 2012” took place at Colby College’s Foss Dining Hall on Oct. 24.

This culinary experience involved Sodexo chefs from all over New England, in a search for the best campus chef. The event challenged chefs to create better meals to represent local sustainable foods. The campus teams prepared and served meals to guests in order to win over their votes. Sodexo, which organized the event, supports the local food movement.

At Chef Fest, each campus team consisted of executive chefs and a prep cook. The guests at the event were able to taste-test the meals after the chefs have completed them. They then voted on the chef that produced the best meal. There were six college and universities involved in this competition: Colby, Thomas College, University of New England, Maine College of Art, Endicott College and Merrimack.

It was hosted by Colby, in Waterville, Maine. Last week in Sparky’s, Sodexo organized a Pep Rally for Chef Fest. This Pep Rally offered a sample of the meals that would be presented at the competition. Not only did students get to try the food, but were informed about the upcoming event.

The meal that Merrimack chefs Jill Grimley and Don Harris prepared was a turkey cutlet with cornbread cake, cranberry orange chutney, butternut squash mousse and grain mustard foam. Junior Brittany Desmond explained that Chef Fest allowed the chefs to accommodate different options such as vegetarian dining. For example, during the Chef Fest Pep Rally, as an alternative to the turkey presentation, the chefs just served the cornbread cake with sauce.

The district marketing specialist with Sodexo, Michelle Herlihy, said she supports the Dining Team in all marketing efforts around campus and is heavily involved with Merrimack’s Student Government Association as well as the Merrimack Green Team.

She also assists with the projects of the student promotion and sustainability promotion coordinators who work hand in hand with Merrimack Dining. Merrimack’s Sodexo team worked with the Student Government Association after the event on campus to gather feedback on the judges’ favorite meals.

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