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Two chefs from UGA Food Services to compete in culinary challenge

Don Law NACUFS Culinary Challenge 2014 lobster pot
UGA chef Don Law prepared lobster pot pie at the 2014 NACUFS Southern Region Conference Culinary Challenge.

Athens, Ga. – Two chefs from University of Georgia Food Services have been selected to compete in the Culinary Challenge at the National Association of College and University Food Services Southern Region Conference on March 26 at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla. The chefs who will compete are Don Law and Shelly Orozco-Marrs.

The NACUFS Culinary Challenge recognizes outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate food service programs. Chefs are selected to compete at the regional level after preparing a dish from a predetermined mandatory ingredient and submitting a photo and description of their dish to the regional challenge chair. Selection is based on many factors, including originality, presentation, cooking methods and nutritional analysis.

At the regional competition, the chefs will prepare their dish-using this year’s mandatory ingredient of live lobster-in front of a live audience of college and university food service managers and industry suppliers. Law will prepare a lobster pot pie, and Orozco-Marrs will prepare lobster cakes as they compete against chefs from other universities within the southern region.

The competitors will have 80 minutes to cook their dishes, which will include five minutes to set their stations, 60 minutes to cook, 10 minutes to plate four dishes and five minutes to clean and exit their stations. Chefs will be penalized in scoring if their food is not to the judges at the end of 70 minutes, if their dishes are plated prior to the time allotted for plating or if they have not cleaned and exited their stations at the end of 80 minutes.

Judging will take place during and after the competition; and criteria will include organization, sanitation, cooking skills, culinary technique, creativity, portion size, flavor and texture, ingredient compatibility, nutritional balance and presentation. The only assistance allowed is the help of one volunteer in cleaning and delivering plates to the judges.

The first place winner from each region will go on to the national competition later in the year.

This will be Law’s first NACUFS competition. Orozco-Marrs competed and placed in the 2011 Southern Region Culinary Challenge where she received a bronze medal and in the 2013 Southern Region Culinary Challenge where she received a silver medal from the American Culinary Federation.