Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Campus Cuisine

Posted February 24, 2006

Which college or university in NC has the best on campus food? No, this is not a joke. I’d really like to hear your opinion. For years college cuisine has taken a bad rap for its starchy and stale predictability. But times are changing and NC State University is leading the pack when it comes to fine food for freshmen and upperclassmen. I had the pleasure of helping judge the second annual Chef’s Challenge at NC State. Chefs from four residence halls on campus went head to head in a cooking competition. Each team worked with different recipes for grouper. The competition was fierce and the results were incredibly close. Fountain Hall won out with a tasty Cajun filet that made my mouth water with delight. And here’s the neat thing. The winning dish will be served at the campus dining halls on a later date.
I enjoyed working with an elite panel of judges including Daniel Scott Shurr, executive chef for the Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern in Raleigh, Bob Passarelli, a chef consultant for US Food Services and former gubernatorial chef, James Hallett, a culinary instructor at Wake Technical Community College and NCSU’s executive chef Bill Brizzolara.
So the next time you visit a college campus don’t turn up your nose at the school’s dining hall. You might be pleasantly surprised that campus cuisine has kicked it up a notch.

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