Brian Sonksen, food service supervisor in Rialto dining center at the University of Northern Iowa, was awarded a bronze medal at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) sanctioned National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Culinary Challenge held March 1 at Diamond Event Center in Cedar Falls as part of the NACUFS Midwest Regional Conference hosted by UNI.
Competitors faced off against the clock to prepare a creative entrée, which featured a mandatory entree of venison saddle to create an appetizing and inviting plate. This 80-minute competition consisted of five minutes to set their station, 60 minutes to fabricate and cook, 10 minutes to plate, and five minutes to clean up and exit their station. This live competition recognizes outstanding organization, cooking skills, culinary technique, taste and style. Sonksen's entrée was a Duck Fat Poached Venison Loin featuring the mandatory ingredient. Eight university chefs contended for a chance to compete at the national level this July in Denver, Colorado.
Sonksen joined UNI Dining in August 2016 and has been a competitor in a few area cooking competitions. This is the first time he has competed in the NACUFS Culinary Challenge.