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Published: Sunday, 6/22/2008

Toledo native will be a sous chef at the Olympics

Chris Uhl, a Toledo native and now Central Michigan University campus dining director in Mount Pleasant, Mich., has been selected to serve as a sous chef at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which will be Aug. 8-24.

He will be among the staff of nearly 7,000 Aramark managers, chefs, and employees from around the world who will serve approximately 3.5 million meals to athletes, coaches, staff, officials, and media guests during the games.

Mr. Uhl, 28, who attended St. Joseph s Elementary School in Sylvania, graduated from St. John s Jesuit High School in 1998. After graduating from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., in 2003 with a bachelor s degree in public relations and advertising, he worked at Diva, the former downtown Toledo restaurant, for six months. From there he went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Following his graduation, he joined CMU campus dining, where he is an assistant director of the Real Food On Campus residential restaurant.

Aramark will provide catering services for the Olympic Village, two media centers, and two media villages at the games. The application process is open to all Aramark employees, he said in a phone interview. Originally I applied [to be] a line cook but they told me I was qualified for a sous chef. As such he ll report to the executive chef and along with preparing meals, he will be in charge of day-to-day operations that include cooking demonstrations for his employees and ensuring that safety standards are met.

He enjoys cooking for family and friends. If they ask for a Mexican dish, I develop something new, he says. Recently he did a confit of pork shoulder with picadillo of green olives, raisins, and almonds served on a potato sope with a mole made with chorizo sausage.

Mr. Uhl, whose parents are Chris and Patty Uhl of Ottawa Lake, Mich., will leave July 6 and return Sept. 1. He looks forward to traveling in Beijing in his spare time.

Recipe contests

Submit your best original oyster recipe in the 29th annual National Oyster Cook-off by Aug. 1. Cash prizes of $300, $200, and $150 will be awarded to the top three finalists in each of these categories: hor d oeuvres, soups and stews, and main dish. The grand prize winner will be selected from the first place winners in each category and will receive an additional $1,000 and a silver tray. To enter, see contest rules at www.marylandseafood.org.

Firefighters nationwide are invited to submit recipes for the fifth national Cook & Ladder Competition, the search for America s hottest firehouse cook. Whether it s for appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, side dishes, or desserts, the fiery creation must include at least one of the six Tabasco pepper sauces. Entries will be judged on originality and creativity, taste, use of Tabasco sauce, recipe clarity, and presentation. Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 31. Grand prize is $10,000, second prize is $5,000, and third prize is $2,000. Prize money is divided evenly between winning firefighters and their firehouses. Official entry forms and contest rules are available at www.TABASCO.com.

Food budget

Hormel Foods offers these tips to help control your food budget:

• Reduce your supermarket stops to avoid impulse buying.

• Plan your meals for the week and buy only items you need.

• Build a budget and stay within this price range when you go grocery shopping.

• Search for sales.

• Use your leftovers and create multiple meals from a dish.

Magical Dining Month

The third annual Orlando Magical Dining Month will be Sept. 1-30. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe dinners for $19 or $29 (excluding beverage, tax, and gratuity). The variety of environments includes Emeril s Tchoup Chop (Asian and Polynesian cuisine with his signature bold kick of spice ); Roy s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant; Graze Restaurant, a modern bistro, and the 1930s supper club-style The Oceanaire Seafood Room. More information on participating establishments is available online at orlandomagicaldining.com.



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