NCCU, N.C. A&T State University face off in 'Battle of the Chefs'

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 02:44 PM

N.C. Central University and Sodexo Quality of Life Services will host “Battle of the Chefs: The Bull versus The ‘Boro Edition,” Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. in the W.G. Pearson Cafeteria on campus.

This culinary event (Twitter: #AggieEagleChefBattle) will showcase the cooking talents of campus executive chefs.

This year, NCCU has added a twist to the competition; inviting N.C. A&T 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. 

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 Durham residents.

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.

A graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College, McCorkle was named executive chef of the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley at 25 years old.  He also has 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 upon 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.