Published: Oct. 26, 2016

MSU, U-M chefs to compete in culinary throwdown prior to rivalry football game

Contact(s): Leah Ball Culinary Services office: 517-884-6403

This weekend’s showdown between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan won’t only be on the football field, the schools will also face-off in a culinary competition.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 29, teams from each university will compete in the second annual MSU vs. U-M Culinary Throwdown behind Shaw Hall.

The Culinary Throwdown began last year in Ann Arbor, when MSU took home the win with a score of 311-303. The three-round cooking contest features student chefs, sous chefs and executive chefs from each school. Styled after the television show, “Iron Chef,” the competition between the two rivals is held at the university hosting the football game.

At this year’s event, student chefs will compete in the first round, creating a handheld sandwich with pork skirt steak. Sous chefs representing each school will then create a signature dish out of pork loin for the second round. MSU corporate chef Kurt Kwiatkowski and U-M executive chef Frank Turchan face off in the final round, utilizing boneless leg of pork to develop a regional, American-style BBQ dish. 

“Frank and I dreamed up this event and talked about it for several years, so it was great to see it turn out to be such a success last fall,” said Kwiatkowski. “The Culinary Throwdown offers a welcoming atmosphere, and an opportunity for students, alumni and other fans to enjoy delicious fare and help us continue a new tradition.” 

Turchan adds: “Both schools have great dining programs, and Kurt and I are passionate about Michigan and it’s agriculture. Our culinary teams support the players and the students, so we want to get involved and have fun with the rivalry. We challenge each other, but we also learn from each other.” 

Judges include Becky Schilling, editor-in-chief of Food Management magazine; Gretchen Couraud, executive director of the National Association of College and University Food Services; and Kristin Anderson, chief of staff for the MSU Residence Halls Association.

Fans will be treated to tailgate food while supplies last, including BBQ pulled pork and jack fruit BBQ sandwiches, stadium hot dogs, chili, chips, Michigan apples, cookies from MSU Bakers and various beverages, including Starbucks Refreshers®. Additionally, those in attendance can sample dishes prepared in the student and sous chef competition rounds on a first come, first served basis. The event is sponsored in part by the National Pork Board.

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