GOOD MORNING HOYAS! I’m chef Matthew Thompson, your emcee for the Hoya Hospitality Chef Battle -the first of its kind here at Georgetown and is modeled after the popular “Iron Chef” TV show. We are here today to answer Georgetown University’s most savory question?...Who’s cuisine reigns supreme? Here at Launch Test Kitchen we have brought together Hoya’s top culinary talent to meet and face the ultimate gourmet challenge.
Let’s meet today’s contestants
Bjorn Verduijn grew up in The Netherlands. He learned at an early age quality food was an essential ingredient to good living. Farm to Fork food is a way of life in the rural community in the province Zeeland, where he and his family grew up using sustainable cooking methods by using locally grown and harvested resources to generate revenue for farmers and fishing boats as an innate default. Bjorn’s early inspiration and food memories comes from his grandmother’s cooking when visiting her every week.
To everyone’s surprise Bjorn decided to abandon his dream of pursuing a career in biochemistry, and leave for culinary school in Belgium where he ended up graduating from Hotelschool Ter Groene Poorte with a degree in culinary arts, pastry arts , sommelier degree and eventually earning his MBA as well. After graduating Bjorn worked as a cook and eventually Chef in Spain, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Ireland, before finally moving to Long Island, NY.
After working in New York for a few years, he eventually moved to Annapolis, MD in 2000 where he still resides to this day. Since moving to Annapolis, Bjorn has moved into culinary management and managed prestigious accounts such as World bank, IMF, Jones Day law firm, Northrop Grumman HQ and the US House of Representatives to name a few. In his spare time Bjorn enjoys running, hunting, of course cooking, being on the water and spending lots of time with his wife and 2 kids.
Executive Chef Richard Hetzler, formally the executive chef at Mitsitam Native Foods Café for more than 10 years at the National Museum of the American Indian, brings extensive experience and a passion for food to his work that he has been cultivating since his youth. After graduating from Baltimore International Culinary College, he honed his skills in fine dining restaurants and hotels, including Elkridge Furnace Inn, Jefferson Hotel and Maryland Inn and Treaty of Paris Restaurant.
Chef Hetzler has owned his own Italian restaurant and has been a part of many world-class cultural institutions and hosted many premier events. He was also part of the catering service team, The Compass Group, at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Chef Hetzler was approached to head the Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the earliest stages of menu planning. He spearheaded the research and tasting process that resulted in the five unique regional menus and a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience that reflects and compliments the museum’s mission to educate visitors about Native cultures. Since then he has also published an award wining cookbook name “Mitsitam Café Cookbook”. He continues to be a culinary innovator and looks forward to his new role with Georgetown
Chefs are you ready for today’s battle?
There is one more ingredient to today’s battle and that is our Secret Ingredient...Today’s secret ingredient is... Salmon! The salmon used in today’s battle is donated courtesy of ProFish
Today’s battle will be judged on taste, presentation and creativity of the use of today’s secret ingredient, Salmon!
… and the winner of today’s battle? Congratulations Chef Richard Hetzler!