Ryli Vissers, chef de cuisine 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 2, 2019 at The University of Northern Iowa. Chef Vissers won the challenge and a gold medal with his dish, "Poached Venison Loin filled with Tarragon Farce, Venison Chili, Buckwheat Spaetzle, Braised Red Cabbage, Glace Celery Root, Caraway Cracker, Blackberry Compote.”
Competitors in the challenge had 60 minutes, with ten additional minutes for plating, to prepare four portions of an original hot entrée featuring the mandatory protein of venison saddle, side dishes and sauces to create a balanced plate.
Chef Vissers' winning dish: Poached Venison Loin filled with Tarragon Farce, Venison Chili, Buckwheat Spaetzle, Braised Red Cabbage, Glace Celery Root, Caraway Cracker, Blackberry Compote
As chef de cuisine for University Catering at Notre Dame, Chef Vissers leads a diverse staff responsible for a butcher shop, garde manger, grab & go, steward areas, and hot food kitchen. Emphasizing respect of both food and his teammates, he consistently cultivates a culture of excellence, resulting in exceptional food quality. Prior to this role, he served as a cook for the Notre Dame football team.
Before joining Notre Dame in 2016, Chef Vissers worked at a bakery and fine dining restaurant in Appleton, Wisconsin. He holds an associate’s degree in culinary arts as well as a certificate for advanced baking and pastry arts from Fox Valley Tech.
Following his win, Chef Vissers will represent the Midwest Region at the NACUFS National Conference in Denver, Colorado in July, 2019.