LARAMIE – Representing the University of Wyoming Dining Services, Chef Debe Brady took home a silver medal against 36 universities including the University of Notre Dame, Penn State University and the University at Buffalo.

Chef Brady, a member of Residence Life & Dining Services and chef at the University of Wyoming Maurice Brown Nutrition Center and Training Tables, participated in the National Association of College & University Food Services National Culinary Challenge on Thursday, July 11, in Denver, during the NACUFS National Conference.

In April, Chef Brady won a silver medal in the Continental Region competition in Spokane, Washington, earning her a spot to compete at the National Culinary Challenge in Denver, during the NACUFS National Conference.

The NACUFS Culinary Challenge is a live competition – similar to those competitions you’ll find on The Food Channel - that recognizes the outstanding organization, cooking skills, culinary technique, taste, and style.

In Denver, competitors from 35 other American universities faced off against Chef Brady and the clock, to prepare a creative entrée, featuring the mandatory protein - venison saddle - an appetizing and inviting plate.

Chef Brady completed her award-winning recipe, Duet of Venison, a play on Bordelaise & Rossini, featured a pan-roasted venison chop and venison marrow roulade served on a warm blackberry-beet quenelle and bordelaise sauce. This was accompanied by pan-seared foie gras, braised kale and roasted root vegetables, sweet potato and celery root and russet potato purée and a spiced apple tournée.

Debe Brady has loved cooking since she was young. At 8 years old, her grandmother started teaching her how to cook and understand the basics of a home kitchen.

“It started with my Grandma. She taught me to cook – the basic things you need to know in the kitchen. She wasn’t fluent in English, so I learned in Navajo. We used to stay in the kitchen from early morning until everyone was done eating dinner.”

She graduated from the Art Institute of Phoenix with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. She has over 6 years of cooking experience, ranging from home cooking to school cafeterias and upscale buffets.

Working closely with the University of Wyoming Dining Services chefs, cooks, and culinary professionals, Debe has refined her skills in the culinary arts. Debe’s goal is to become an ACF certified chef and in the future a Master Chef.

“I would like to thank a lot of people, because if it weren’t for their support, then I wouldn’t have been confident enough, or have the faith in myself, to actually pursue a lot of things. And those ‘people’ know who they are because I probably thank them at least once, or a million times. There aren’t enough thank-you’s in the world to appreciate or give gratitude to all these people,” said Debe.

“Everyone at work, they help me a lot. They let me practice – I probably practiced this recipe 50 times – and they were kind enough to take up my spot, my role, in helping everyone else in the kitchen. I usually run a lot of things, and they all helped me. It was a team effort.”