17 April 2017 - by Vermont First

Battle of the Campus Chefs - April 20th

Category: Events

On April 20th, chefs from across the University of Vermont are teaming up with student clubs to prepare locally sourced dishes.

They are vying for the vote of students and community members for the best dish in the Battle of the Campus Chefs. This is a fundraising event supporting the Campus Kitchens Project and Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. Tickets are $7 at the door for students and $9 for community members. The event starts at 7:00 pm at the Davis Center. UVM chefs have already had a taste of local food competition, as they recently returned from facing off against other Vermont colleges in the Localvore Challenge hosted by Sodexo. Here is what happened in that challenge. This material was contributed by the Vermont First Sodexo blog and has been lightly edited for space.

In celebration of Sodexo’s ongoing commitment to Vermont First local food sourcing, nine Vermont Colleges competed in the third annual Localvore Cooking Challenge on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The event was hosted by last year’s champion St. Michael’s College. This friendly competition challenges professional, and up and coming, Sodexo chefs to design menus around foods and products that are native to Vermont. Each campus culinary team prepared and served their local dishes to the students during a special lunch at Saint Michael’s College. Students voted on their favorite dish. The culinary teams were also judged on presentation, creativity, technical execution, and guest interaction by judges from the Vermont food community.

The 2017 competing colleges included:

  • Castleton University – Castleton, VT
  • Champlain College – Burlington, VT
  • Johnson State College – Johnson, VT
  • Lyndon State College – Lyndonville, VT
  • Norwich University – Northfield, VT
  • St. Michael’s College – Colchester, VT
  • Southern Vermont College – Bennington, VT
  • University of Vermont – Burlington, VT

These nine Sodexo Vermont campuses gathered together under the auspices of year-long bragging rights to see who would be the 2017 Localvore Champion: the creator of the best dish featuring Vermont ingredients. As each campus arrived and unveiled their localvore creation, it was clear that each chef team came to win. While there was an eventual winner, it’s important that the goals of the Challenge are not lost:

  • Empower our chefs to be creative with their use of local ingredients, especially during a time of year that is typically challenging to source local ingredients in Vermont.
  • Strengthen partnerships with the local producers we source from, both for the Challenge and for our daily dining operations.
  • Create the culture of sharing ideas to incorporate new local ingredients or dishes into our regular menus.
  • Raise student awareness about our Vermont First commitment to buy local products and recognition of our chefs’ culinary skills.  A great time for our up-and-coming chefs to demonstrate their prowess in the kitchen!
  • A rare opportunity for our campus Chefs and General Managers to gather together and meet students from different campuses.

For the second year in a row, St. Michael’s College won the challenge, with “Vermont Classic TV Dinner”, featuring: Black River Meats Vermont grown beef tenderloin medallion, sweet winter squash, Champlain Apple Glass and Sugarman’s Maple popcorn shooter. The other finalists were:

#2 – Lyndon State College for “Grilled Flank Steak Crostini”, featuring: Harward Farm steak, Deer Run Farm bacon, Vermont Butter and Cheese chevre, Green Mountain Farms cream cheese, Sweet Rowen Farmstead Boursin cheese, Deep Root black radishes, and Sugarman’s maple syrup

#3 – Castleton University for “Traditional Tonkotsu Ramen” dish, featuring: Misty Knoll Chicken, Vermont Native Pork Belly and Ajitsuke Tamago, Maple Meadow Farm eggs

#4 – UVM for “Vermont Chicken and Waffles”, featuring: A savory waffle made with Burnt Rock Farm butternut squash and sweet potatoes and King Arthur Flour topped with a layer of sweet cream honey butter from Vermont Food Venture Center honey and Vermont Creamery butter and classic fried chicken from Murray’s Chicken. Finished and drizzled with maple bourbon sauce featuring Proctor Maple Research Center’s maple syrup and Mad River Bourbon

Pictured above is the winning entry - to see all the pictures from the event visit https://vermontfirstsodexo.com. For additional coverage of the day, check out the following news stories!

NBC Channel 5: VT Localvore Food Contest Brings the Heat

Burlington Free Press: School Chefs Across Vermont Pull Out Their Best Localvore Chops

My Champlain Valley: St. Michael’s Wins First Place in Localvore Cooking Challenge