Charu Chandra Pant, chef at the University of Notre Dame, was awarded first place in the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Midwest Region's Culinary Challenge on March 9, 2016 at The Ohio State University. Chef Pant won the challenge and a gold medal with his dish, "Himalayan Bowl: Seared Lamb with Red Rice Pilaf, Sauteed Black Kale, Tourneed Turnips with Sweet Tomato Sauce, Cucumber Mint Raita and Rich Tomato Shorba.”
As culinary production manager at Notre Dame, Chef Pant oversees the daily operation of the campus’ cafes. Prior to this role, he served as the University’s test kitchen chef for seven years, testing recipes used in dining halls, religious houses, cafes, vending, and catering operations.
Before joining Notre Dame, Chef Pant worked for hotel restaurants including Webster in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Stone’s Throw in Washington, DC and several hotels in his native India. He holds an associate’s degree in culinary management and a certificate in baking and pastry from Grand Rapids Community College as well as a degree from the Hotel Management Institute in India.
Following his win, Chef Pant will represent the Midwest Region at the NACUFS National Conference in Anaheim, CA on July 14, 2016.