EDS Shows Expertise and Strong Leadership at NACUFS
From Left to Right: Michael Morgan (General Manager, Starbucks), Emily Arrington (Assistant Manager, Dining Commons; Southern Regional Director-Elect of NACUFS), Chef Clay Culpepper (Executive Chef, Lakeside Dining Commons; NACUFS Culinary Challenge Southern Region Bronze Medal Winner), Megan Yawn, Jeff Yawn (Executive Director, Eagle Dining Services; Outgoing NACUFS Southern Region Treasurer)
Over Spring Break, representatives from Eagle Dining Services attended the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Southern Regional Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Southern region of NACUFS has members in schools all over the south. From North Carolina down to Florida, and as far west as New Mexico and Texas.
Bone-In-Stuffed Pork Chop with a Bourbon and Apple Compote
The NACUFS Southern Region held their annual Culinary Challenge on Thursday, March 16 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Six chefs from across the Southern Region displayed their skills and competed for medals by creating four portions of a delicious, original hot entree, side dishes and sauces in 60 minutes. Competing in this event is tough and chefs are strictly graded on their technique as well as their dishes. It is not unheard of to have six chefs compete and no one receive a medal. This year, Chef Clay Culpepper, the Executive Chef of Lakeside Dining Commons, represented Eagle Dining Services and Georgia Southern University. He brought home the Bronze Medal with his Bone-In-Stuffed Pork Chop with a Bourbon and Apple Compote over Sauteed Collard Greens and a Sweet Potato Hash.
“Competing in the NACUFS Culinary Challenge was an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience. Only six out of thirty-seven entrants from all over the Southern United States were selected to compete, and to walk away with an ACF medal is certainly one of the highlights of my career,” said Chef Culpepper of the experience.
Competitors have a total of 80 minutes to complete their dishes. This is divided into four sections: five minutes to set their station, 60 minutes to cook, ten minutes for plating, and five minutes to clean and exit their station. The entree had to feature the protein of bone-in pork loin, as well as side dishes and sauces to create a nutritionally balanced plate. Volunteers are allowed to assist each competitor in cleaning and delivering plates to the judges, otherwise no other assistance is allowed.
In addition to Chef Culpepper’s win at the Culinary Challenge, Dining Commons Assistant Manager Emily Arrington was elected the Southern Regional Director-Elect. Mrs. Arrington has served as the Marketing Committee Member before being elected into this position, as well as participating in all of NACUFS educational institutes. In her new position, Mrs. Arrington is preparing to become the Southern Regional Director, by supporting the current Southern Regional Director in their duties and performing them if necessary in their absence.
Jeff Yawn, Executive Director of Eagle Dining Services, also attended the conference. He sat on a panel of his peers and food service industry members answering questions and sharing his experiences around how to succeed in NACUFS. Mr. Yawn has served as the NACUFS Southern Conference Region Treasurer for the last four years and was recently nominated for the National NACUFS Treasurer position. He is looking forward to the opportunity to serve on the NACUFS Board of Trustee.
Each NACUFS region is led by a regional council, whose members develop programming and member services within their region. Nationally, NACUFS is governed by a volunteer board of trustees composed of fourteen voting members—the board’s four officers: Immediate Past President, President, President-Elect, Treasurer; and eight At-Large Trustees, the Industry Trustee, the Guest Trustee and the CEO, who shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member.
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