KSU Chef Wins Cooking Challenge

Contact: Melissa McMahon, 470-578-2902 or mmm5228@kennesaw.edu


A portrait of Brian Jones. KENNESAW, Ga. (March 15, 2019) — Kennesaw State University Executive Chef Brian Jones last week won the National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS) Southern Regional Culinary Challenge, earning a berth in the organization’s national competition in July.

In the March 7 competition at the University of Georgia, Jones contested six other chefs in a timed cooking challenge. The event, sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), was open to all culinary professionals employed at member schools.

Jones’ winning plate contained venison saddle, sunflowers, blueberries and sumac, all of which are ingredients found in the environment in which deer live. He had one hour to complete four dishes to demonstrate his organizational skills and his culinary technique, taste and style. By winning, he will face five other regional winners at the NACUFS National Conference in front of a live audience of college and university food service professionals, industry experts and ACF judges on July 11.

A graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Jones joined University Dining in May 2016.  He has honed his skills and culinary philosophy at some of Atlanta’s most iconic restaurants, including Canoe, Watershed, The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta and Restaurant Eugene. In his current role, Jones oversees a kitchen brigade that feeds more than 7,000 students, faculty and staff across Kennesaw State’s two campuses daily. In 2018, he was selected to participate in the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program, created to foster relationships between chefs and farmers.


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. KSU offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties, entrepreneurial spirit, and Division I athletics draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Ranked a top choice for students by U.S. News, Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.