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UCOP Chef Throwdown yields delicious winners

No surprise, UCOP staffers can really cook! We know that from their incredible hard work in the office. The inaugural UCOP Chef Throwdown proved they also have mojo in the kitchen.

Held in conjunction with the UCOP End-of-Year Celebration on Dec. 13, the friendly competition saw UCOP staff members throwing down their best kitchen kung fu in seven categories. A select panel of judges representing UCOP leadership, staff and affinity groups then had the oh-so-difficult job of tasting all the entries.

Every dish impressed, so it was a tough decision. But if you combine one part cooking chops with two parts creativity, you yield the following winners:

  • Cookies: Chris Furgiuele for “Millionaire’s Shortbread”
  • Vegan (Savory/Sweet):  Brianna Moore-Trieu for “Be Mo’s Kambocha Squash Soup”
  • Pies: Jackie DiOrio for “Grandma’s Apple Pie”
  • Cakes & Quick Breads: Dan Gerber for “Pumpkin Cupcakes”
  • Gluten-Free Sweets: Thu Nguyen for “Pistachio and Peanut Butter French Macaron”
  • Savory Sides or Appetizers: Andy Huntington for “Mom’s Shrimp Dip”
  • Slow-Cooker or One-Pot Dish: Dan Scannell for “Jambalaya”

The winners were recognized with a custom-made Throwdown chef’s apron and a photo with President Napolitano – and awarded bragging rights for the next year!

President Napolitano congratulated the winners after delivering brief remarks as part of the End-of-Year Celebration event attended by several hundred UCOP staff members. She highlighted major events of 2018, including UC’s 150th anniversary, the continuing increases in enrollment of California students, and the university’s commitment to achieve 100 percent clean electricity by 2025.

The president concluded her remarks by telling OP staff that “I know that 2018 was sometimes a bumpy ride. Our work isn’t easy, but it is deeply satisfying when we reach our goals. I am so proud of the work all of you have done, and what you managed to accomplish. I know that all our leaders here at UCOP join me in conveying our sincere appreciation for the effort you give to the University of California every day.”

See slideshow above for photos of the Throwdown winners, the judges and many of the competing dishes. Warning: Some of these images may make you very hungry!

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