OREM — Madeline Black, a first-year student at Utah Valley University’s Culinary Arts Institute, was named the nation’s Student Chef of the Year at the American Culinary Federation’s national convention held in Orlando, Florida, July 8-13.
Black, a sophomore from Provo, becomes the second national champion from UVU’s institute. Last year, Michelle Stephenson won the title.
As one of five regional winners, Black had 90 minutes to prepare a world-class dish that would impress a team of top-level chefs. Each competitor came up with original recipes utilizing an ingredient list given to them a few weeks earlier.
This year's list was built around duck as the main protein. Black’s winning menu consisted of truffle-scented duck roulade finished in duck fat, with Utah honey lacquered duck thigh-riblet, pan-seared foie gras with port and morel mushroom sauce, accompanied by potatoes gratin, celeriac and pea puree, with rhubarb chutney and summer vegetable medley.
“This is really a dream come true,” Black said in a statement. “I was breezing along, and then the last 10 minutes things just weren’t coming together like I’d practiced a hundred times, and it got a little crazy. But the judges said they were very impressed with the complicated dish I created, and I think that’s what made the difference. How cool is it to bring back to UVU another national championship!”
UVU’s Culinary Arts Institute also sent a student team to compete in the federation’s Culinary Knowledge Bowl, where it finished second in the nation. UVU’s team won the national title last year.