News Date: 
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Source: Red & Black

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:45 am | Updated: 2:32 pm, Sat Mar 23, 2013.

Emily Erdelyan

University of Georgia Food Services Chef Shelly Orozco-Marrs proved herself under pressure. She took home a silver medal for the recipe she presented at the 2013 National Association of College and University Food Services Southern Region Culinary Challenge at Texas Tech University on March 8 despite multiple power outages in the arena. “The power went out about six times because of all the electricity we were using at once, but they allowed me the time I needed to accommodate for the outages and it was fine,” Orozco-Marrs said.


In front of a live audience, Orozco-Marrs prepared her dish consisting of seared duck breast – the mandatory ingredient this year – pancetta and chevre polenta, thyme butter carrots, sautéed arugula and spiced Madeira cherry jus.Orozco-Marrs said the power outages didn’t provide a major issue for her. Practice helped her prepare for any situation. “I didn’t have any problems during the competition,” Orozco-Marrs said. “I practiced three times and I felt really comfortable producing my dish. It was a great time.”


With five minutes to set their stations, 60 minutes to cook, 10 minutes to plate four dishes and five minutes to clean their stations, the competitors were allotted a total of 80 minutes to prepare a dish of choice to present to the judges. Participants were judged on organization, sanitation, cooking skills, culinary technique, creativity, portion size, flavor and texture, ingredient compatibility, nutritional balance and presentation. Orozco-Marrs competed against five other chefs from universities in the southern region and placed third overall.


“[Placing third] gives us more credibility when we promote the meal or say that we’ve been awarded more than any other colleges,” Orozco-Marrs said. “[Food Services] really strives to perform well and represent the University as well as we can.” This year marks the 13th regional NACUFS competition in which a UGA Food Services chef has competed, and the second consecutive year that Orozco-Marrs has been awarded a medal. She also received bronze in the 2011 Southern Region Culinary Challenge. “In general this just validates that we have very talented chefs our staff,” Jeanne Fry, executive director of Food Services, said. “Shelly is a cool operator. She works well under pressure and she’s the ultimate professional.”