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UMD Chef Prepares for National Culinary Competition

April 07, 2017 08:42 AM

The Bulldog Men's Hockey win in the semi-finals of the Frozen Four Thursday night has many at UMD proud, but another Bulldog has been doing some winning of his own - Chef Conor Maki.

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He's a chef with UMD Dining Services and in February he took home a gold medal for his twist on the comfort food staple of pork and beans, named 'Swine in the Brine.' Chef Maki competed against six other chefs at the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) culinary challenge for the 'Continental' region. All the chefs had to use the featured product - bone-in pork loin.

Chef Maki stopped by GMN to give a taste of his winning 'Swine in the Brine' dish. He says he gets his inspiration from comfort food.

“Most of my life I have lived in Minnesota, but I also lived in Florida for a while, so I wanted to take comfort food from those two locations and make a plate out of it,” said Chef Maki.

His 'Swine in the Brine' dish includes, porketta pork loin, mojo braised ribs, green bean casserole, Cuban black beans, trees of vinaigrette, cream of mushroom soup, and garnishes.

Chef Maki worked at restaurants around the country, which he credits with his training, and began at UMD in 2015. He's happy to be working with an innovative team at UMD.

“We have our farm where we get a lot of our produce from...we are out there at farmer's markets, we are in the local scene," he explained.

Chef Maki has a few more months to perfect his 'Swine in the Brine' dish before he competes against the other regional winners. The national conference is this July in Nashville. To learn more about the national competition, click here


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