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Chef James Jorgen wins Continental Title in NACUFS 2024 Culinary Challenge

The University of Utah’s Dining Services staff has once again made their mark at the annual National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) Regional Cooking Competition. This competition allows chefs from various colleges to showcase their skills in a live setting, incorporating a mandatory protein into their dishes. This year, Chef James Jorgen claimed the title of Continental regional winner at the NACUFS 2024 Culinary Challenge Competitions held in Tacoma, Washington. Chef Jorgen’s victory in Tacoma secures his spot in the national level competition, scheduled to take place from July 17-20 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Chef Jorgen serves as a sous chef at the U, where he oversees culinary operations at the Peterson Heritage Center Dining Hall. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Chef Jorgen began his culinary journey in hotels. Chef Peter Hodgson and Chef Ken Ohlinger assisted his preparation leading up to the competition. The winning dish featured a pan-seared branzino, ratatouille-stuffed eggplant with saffron bulgur wheat, gambas al ajillo, Jerusalem artichoke purée, and Provençal compote.

Reflecting on his win, Chef Jorgen shared that he has found his passion in expressing himself through high-quality food. To him, “Food creates memories. Customers may not remember a particular dish, but they will remember how it made them feel.”

We look forward to seeing the results from the national cooking competition in July.

Congratulations, Chef Jorgen!