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Northern Colorado chef heads to renowned showcase in France

By Staff Report
On January 14, 2013

  • Chef Aran Essig

UNC's own chef Aran Essig embarked this weekend on a jaunt through Italy and France as a part of his 18-day trip to learn from the world's best chefs.

Essig currently works as a certified executive chef and certified culinary administrator for the University of Northern Colorado's dining services. Essig will be observing the Bocuse d'Or, which showcases the world's most talented chefs.

Twenty-four chefs from six countries will participate in the competition, which was created in 1987 by Paul Bocuse and has grown to become one of the world's best gastronomic competition. Gastronomy refers to the art of choosing, cooking and eating good food.

Essig started this process by applying through a program sponsored by MINORS, which is affiliated with the food company Nestle. To win a trip to Europe, chefs were encouraged to reflect on their experiences in the culinary industry.

"It was an industry competition offered by MINORS," Essig said. "In the competition, we talked about the products used throughout our careers."

Those stories were put to a vote and six finalists were chosen to travel to France to observe the highly-anticipated competition.

The competition will feature a task handed down by the International Organizing Committee, designed to challenge the creativity and ingenuity of each chef.

The competition is a part of SIHRA, which is a food services and hospitality event taking place in Eurexpo Lyon, France.

"The competition is part of SIRHA, one of the largest food exhibitions in the world," Essig said. "I am going to help root on Team USA. We look forward to taking what we learn there and bring back to share with our staff."

The overall competition has expanded to feature 60 countries, which display their skills on the continental stage on three separate occasions in Latin America, Europe and Asia.

"Chef Aran is a really great guy and an amazing chef," said Stacey Davidson, a senior international affairs major and University Center dining hall employee. "He worked really hard for this and deserves every bit of the trip he won. We're all very proud of him."

Students can keep up with Essig as he travels through Italy on his way to Lyon at

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