Don Waldenmayer, Ferris State University’s executive chef and catering manager, competed in the National Association of College and University Food Services Midwest Regional Culinary Challenge on March 3.
Nine chefs competed in the challenge held at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
The annual challenge recognizes outstanding food preparation and presentation skills in collegiate dining services.
“Many chefs who competed were veteran competitors from large universities,” Waldenmayer said. “I was fortunate to compete and learn from this group of great chefs. The more you practice and compete the luckier you get. I look forward to returning again, next year, to apply the information and insight I gained from this year’s competition.”
This year marked the first time that Ferris was represented in the challenge. It was also the first time in the competition for Waldenmayer. More than 50 universities were eligible to participate in the Midwest competition. Though Waldenmayer did not earn a medal, he received recognition and gained experience.
“I had a chance to meet chefs that have successfully competed before,” he said. “We (food service managers) got a chance to spend time with peers, exchange info and learn new trends and techniques for providing quality food to students.”
The competition was sponsored by Gordon Food Service.
Scott Turley, executive chef from Grinnell College, in Iowa, won the competition and will represent the Midwest at the national conference in July.
NACUFS is an association that promotes the highest quality of food service on school, college and university campuses by providing members with educational and training opportunities. Approximately 550 institutions of higher education across the U.S. and Canada belong to the NACUFS.