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Chef Adam June earned a Gold Medal in the 2023 NACUFS Northeast Regional Culinary Challenge!

Congratulations to our very own Chef Adam June who was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2023 National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS) Northeast Regional Culinary Challenge held last week at the University of Massachusetts Amherst! Chef Adam, Cook House Dining Room Chef/Manager, has been practicing his dish for the last few months to prepare for this prestigious competition.  

Two chefs arrange four plates of food under a warming lamp

“I’m so proud to be able to represent Cornell University and Cornell Dining in these types of competitions," Chef Adam says. "The pressure of all our units were on my back and this gold medal makes it all worth it!"

Participating chefs were required to create four plates of one entrée featuring pork tenderloin, ground pork, and slab bacon, reflecting an application in collegiate dining in a one-hour cooking challenge. Chef Adam’s dish was Spice-rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Sage Pork Sausage, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Puréed Southern Greens, Cranberry Sauce, and Bacon Streusel.

A plate of food with several items
Chef Adam's entry at the culinary competition.

Chef Jeffrey MacDonald of UMass Amherst won first place for his Stuffed Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin and Braised Smoked Pork Belly. Two regions competed simultaneously at the event at the Hotel UMass on Wednesday evening, March 15th, and three gold medals were awarded among 12 chefs in the competition sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation and judged by ACF-certified judges.

A smiling chef stands in front of a residential dining room wearing a chef coat, a cap, and a gold medal on a ribbon around his neck
Chef Adam June at Cook House Dining Room.


The annual NACUFS Culinary Challenge, created in 2001 and sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), recognizes the vast collection of culinary expertise in collegiate foodservice. Each year, a protein is selected that competitors must use to create an original recipe to form a nutritionally balanced plate. Individual competitors’ creations are judged based on a 100-point scale to rate organization, cooking skills, culinary technique and taste.

Chef Adam adds, "Ever since I started cooking, about 20 years ago, I’ve been wanting to win gold for Cornell! I’m so happy and it makes my team smile, too!”

About Cornell Dining

Cornell Dining is consistently ranked in the Princeton Review's top ten for best campus food among all colleges and universities in the country! That high rating comes from customer surveys, and reflects Cornell Dining's commitment to serving high-quality foods that are healthy and creatively prepared with genuine care for a diverse community. Cornell Dining operates about 30 on-campus eateries -- which include residential dining rooms, cafés, coffeehouses, food courts, and convenience stores -- and serves more than 23,000 meals a day to members of the Cornell community. For more information, visit