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Top Chef: Carson-Newman’s Chef Matt takes top spot in regional culinary competition

Chef Matt Kuver, center, secured a first place finish in the ACE Southeast Regional Competition.

Chef Matt Kuver, who serves Carson-Newman University via Aramark, took first place at the ACE Southeast Regional Competition held March 7 at the University of South Carolina.

Heather Griggs, Aramark’s general manager for C-N’s Campus Dining Services, championed Kuver’s food presentation for the competition.

“Chef Matt prepared an amazing roasted duck breast with arugula pesto studded cauliflower grits with southern style chow chow and a farrago crunch,” said Griggs. “It was a beautiful, and delicious preparation.”

The evaluation criteria for the competition included such items as serving methods, presentation, creativity, flavor, and kitchen score. Kuver will compete in the ACE National at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in May.

Final results:

1st Place: Chef Matt Kuver, Carson-Newman University

2nd Place: Chef Kyle Pafford, Clemson University

3rd Place: Chef Paul Davidson, Florida State University

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