Culinary Cup and Bake Off to Serve up Innovation and Sweetness at MSU

Published On: May 9, 2016

If you relish in the thrill of competition and enjoy reality shows that match cook against cook, then don’t miss the upcoming Culinary Cup and Bake Off hosted by Michigan State University (MSU) Culinary Services. Join us on Thursday, May 12, 2016, beginning at 8 a.m. at The Vista at Shaw Hall for this live cooking challenge where our team members will demonstrate and develop their professional skills.

The Culinary Cup, established in 2001, is an annual “Chopped” style contest consisting of multiple rounds of competition. Teams of two representing MSU dining neighborhoods and the Spartan Hospitality Group are given specific ingredients to prepare a dish. You never know what’s in the mystery basket, so the possibilities as well as the cooks’ creativity are endless! The winning team from each round will face off in the final round of competition. In addition, there will be teams submitting baked goods for the chance to be named the 2016 Bake Off champions.

“Creating a real-life cooking challenge allows fans of the reality shows and other programs to see the entertainment first hand,” shared Kurt Kwiatkowski, corporate chef. “Each flight, you’ll see specialty ingredients and have a chance to experience our staff crafting truly innovative dishes. There’s a lot of talent on this campus and I think they’ll really ‘wow’ you.”

This year’s judges are Mark Meadows, East Lansing mayor; Joey Pants, WMMQ 94.9 radio broadcaster and Munn Ice Arena announcer; and Helen Knull, MSU women’s field hockey head coach. Finished entries will be judged on presentation, taste, texture, completeness, originality, plate composition and use of the mystery basket ingredients.

The competition supports professional growth, providing staff with a chance to show originality in the kitchen. Additionally, it enhances their collaborative skills as they work alongside a teammate to plan and execute their recipe.

“The Culinary Cup builds excitement for our team members,” said Stacey Robinson, interim senior sales manager for University Conference Services, who has been engaged in planning the event for several years. “Not only do they have fun competing, but it’s also a great way for them to showcase their culinary expertise and it is proof positive that we have many passionate and skilled individuals in our dining halls at MSU.”

The public is invited to attend the event and watch the action. Come cheer on our teams throughout the day! There will be giveaways in the morning and lunch will be provided by the Union Deli from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Vista at Shaw Hall is located on N Shaw Lane between Bogue Street and Farm Lane. Please see the MSU Police website for information on visitor parking.

Culinary Services is a department within the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services at Michigan State University. For more information, visit, like Eat at State on Facebook and follow @eatatstate on Twitter.