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Cornell Dining Chefs come up big at the ACF Chef Culinary Conference!

Once again, Cornell Dining's Chefs came away from the annual American Culinary Federation Chef Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst last month with plenty of medals. Cornell Dining sent a team of six of our culinarians to discuss food through nutrition and sustainability, while sharing dialogues on the future of cuisine.

A row of smiling people wearing chef coats and caps hold certificates

A highlight of the week at UMass Amherst was the Tournament of Champions Competition hosted by Celebrity Chef Jet Tila early in the conference week. Teams of two competed through two rounds, and the winning team, Cornell's own Ben Janowski and Brian Welch, received $500 per chef, a championship belt for each, and considerable bragging rights after battling it out with eight other college and university teams.

Three smiling people stand in a room. Two people in white chef jackets wearing medals flank a man attired in black.

The week ended with an ACF Team Competition, a Category W market basket competition for teams of four. Each team was required to turn their mystery basket into a three-course menu, with appetizer, entree, and dessert to serve four plus a buffet platter for ten, over the course of three hours and 15 minutes.

People wearing chef coats, caps, and aprons prepare food in taco shells on trays

Our team of Ben Janowski, Rosa Rivas, Brian Welch, and Dayton Lockwood coached by Chefs Josh Holden, Chloe Greenhalgh, and Ambarish Lulay had practiced for two months, and swept the medal tally with the highest score, plus gold medals from the ACF. Their mystery basket included quail, pork tenderloin, ocean perch, tofu, peaches, red rice, mushrooms, and more.

A woman wearing a chef coat, cap, and apron pipes an ingredient onto a sheet of pasta

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, caf├ęs, 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