Athens, Ga. – Once again, a University of Georgia food services chef has won the National Association of College & University Food Services Southern Regional Culinary Challenge, held during the NACUFS regional meeting Feb. 19-21 in Galveston, Texas. Paul Oesterle, chef of UGA’s Bolton Dining Commons, received the first place award and the silver culinary medal from the American Culinary Federation. He will represent the region in the NACUFS national competition July 12, during the national meeting in Seattle, Wash.
During the competition, chefs are given 60 minutes to prepare their dish based on the protein of NACUFS’ choosing. This year, the chosen protein was tofu, and Oesterle created tofu and calamata olive ravioli with sautéed wild mushrooms and green pea sauce.
“We are very proud of our team members, such as Chef Paul, who take our culinary program to the pinnacle of the college food service industry,” said J. Michael Floyd, director of food services. “Our team looks forward to the opportunity to bring the national first place Culinary Challenge award back to UGA this summer.”
According to Floyd, UGA food services has been represented in the regional or national NACUFS competition since the contest started in 2001, and this will be the third time UGA has sent a chef to the national competition.
Oesterle, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, has worked at UGA since 2001.