Culinary Challenge

Mantz Wins Bronze in Regional NACUFS Culinary Challenge

Satchel Mantz, a cook at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center, earned a bronze medal in the NACUFS Mid-Atlantic Culinary Challenge, held on March 5 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Satchel, who tied for third place in the regional competition, represented Penn State after winning the Penn State Culinary Challenge in December.

Sponsored by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS), the annual Culinary Challenge begins with an initial cook-off at each participating school that follows the American Culinary Federation's competition guidelines and features a mandatory ingredient that is determined by NACUFS. This year's mandatory ingredient was a bone-in pork loin.

Mantz's dish featured a salt-crusted pork chop with apple chutney, carrot and brown butter puree, cauliflower medallions, and sauteed Brussels sprouts leaves.

Mantz, who advanced to the regional competition after only his second year as a contestant at the school level. enjoys the challenge of competing. "I love the stress of the competition, the creativity of coming up with an original dish," he says.

Judges evaluate culinary creations based on criteria including organization, cooking skills/technique, flavor, texture, nutritional balance, and presentation.

"We are all extremely proud of Satchel," says Mark Kowalski, executive chef for Culinary Support Services. "He worked very hard developing his recipe as well as practicing his dish, and it shows in the results. We are lucky to have him as part of our team."