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NCCU, Sodexo to Host Battle of the Chefs with N.C. A&T State University

NCCU Executive Chef Derrick McCorkle
N.C. A&T State University Executive Chef Katie Williams

North Carolina Central University and Sodexo Quality of Life Services will host “Battle of the Chefs: The Bull versus The ‘Boro Edition,” on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m. in the W.G. Pearson Cafeteria on the campus of NCCU. This culinary event (Twitter: #AggieEagleChefBattle) showcases the cooking skills and talents of campus executive chefs, while building school spirit and student morale. This year, NCCU has added a twist to the competition; inviting North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. and Executive Chef Katie Williams to compete against NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White and Executive Chef Derrick McCorkle.

Both chefs and chancellors will have two hours to create a meal, which must include a secret ingredient provided the day of the event.  Five guest judges will evaluate the teams on presentation, taste and technical delivery.  The winning chancellor and executive chef team will walk away with bragging rights as the 2013 Battle of the Chefs winner.  In addition, Sodexo Quality of Life Services will donate 20 Thanksgiving dinner baskets (including turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, rolls and other items) to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in the name of the winning university. The food baskets will be distributed to residents in the City of Durham.

Award-winning Executive Chef Derrick McCorkle brings more than 20 years of experience to NCCU. He first embarked on his cooking career by becoming a short order cook in one of his grandmother’s restaurants in Winston-Salem, N.C. A graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College, at the age of 25 he was named executive chef of the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley.  He has also worked with major hotels in Greensboro as well as the Sundance Plaza Hotel, Spa, Golf and Conference Center in Winston-Salem. 

In September of this year, McCorkle was named the executive chef at NCCU.  He is a member of the National Ice Carving Association and the American Culinary Federation.  McCorkle has competed in 48 cooking competitions across the country, winning 42 awards. His goal is to become a world-renowned chef while operating one of the largest catering businesses and restaurants in the southeast.

Executive Chef Katie Williams has cooked for rock stars and presidents. A veteran at her craft with expertise in the management of upscale restaurants, high-end catering services and a retail gourmet food market, Williams is an accomplished culinary professional. An award-winning chef, she has experience in the development of unique, tasteful, aesthetically appealing recipes and menus with an emphasis on healthy offerings. She has been with Sodexo for more than four years, having served as executive chef in Michigan, Alabama and now at North Carolina A&T State University. No stranger to the big stage, events such as the 2004 Ryder Cup have called on Williams’ skills. In 2011, she published her first cookbook and received grand prize honors for her recipe in the Kroger Foods Recipe Contest. Inspired to pursue a career in culinary arts by at-home cooking classes with her father as a child, Williams still loves to bring joy to others through her love of cooking.

NCCU has a long history of battling food insufficiency and hunger in Durham and beyond. University efforts have included establishing community gardens in more than seven locations across Durham, environmental stewardship summer camps for middle school students, numerous can food drives, and most recently, the creation of a campus food pantry in the Dent Human Sciences Building.

As part of their commitment to the communities where Sodexo has a presence, the company launched the Stop Hunger Initiative to fight hunger and malnutrition.  “The Battle of the Chefs: The Bull versus The ‘Boro Edition” seeks to bring attention to the challenges faced in the Durham and Greensboro communities.

Mr. and Miss North Carolina A&T State University, Anthony Fitzhugh and Ambriya Neal, Mr. and Miss North Carolina Central University, Cornelius Richardson and Mahalia Frost, along with Matt Dees, editor of Durham Magazine, will serve as judges.

NCCU and North Carolina A&T have a friendly rivalry, usually fought on the gridiron and the court, that dates back more than 20 years. In addition to the rivalry, both universities are committed to service to others. This year NCCU and North Carolina A&T will meet on the gridiron on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 1 p.m. in Aggie Stadium in Greensboro.

Media wishing to cover the “Battle of the Chefs” should contact the NCCU Office of Public Relations at publicrelations@nccu.edu or 919-530-6295.


Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013
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