Chef puts on a show before competition

Jaime Herrera is inviting everyone at WSU to a free dinner show. And dinner is the show.

Herrera, the manager/chef at the Northside Marketplace dining area, has been accepted to compete at a culinary competition in March. Until then, he needs an audience to practice in front of. He’ll “perform” by prepping and cooking dinner at 6 p.m. on four consecutive Tuesday nights. Four lucky audience members at each event will get to eat the meal for free.

If Herrera wins the contest, which is part of the regional conference of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS), he will compete at the national conference in July, said Gina Murray, marketing and promotions coordinator for Dining Services.

“It’s the first time we’re entering, so we’re pretty excited,” she said.

The meal, which Herrera will complete in one hour, includes: chicken breast stuffed with spinach, goat cheese and pancetta; purple potatoes; golden beets; and a julienne carrot bundle with black trumpet mushroom bourbon au jus. Dinner show locations will be: Feb. 7 and 14, Northside Marketplace; Feb. 21, Hillside Café; Feb. 28, Stephenson Dining.

Also at the conference, Douglas Murray, executive chef and assistant director of Dining Services, will present WSU’s success story in implementing sustainable practices, such as using local products and fair trade coffee and recycling to compost.

“NACUFS feels this is a highly relevant topic and we want to share WSU’s accomplishments,” said Gina Murray.

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