Brannon Cahela, Staff Writer
JSU students and faculty were treated to a unique dining experience on Friday, November 10 at Jack Hopper Dining Hall. In addition to the typical fare served at the Caf, students were granted the opportunity to sample a variety of Chilean dishes prepared by acclaimed Chef Mauricio Alejandro Arteaga Campos.
Chef Mauricio payed a visit to the JSU dining hall as part of Sodexo’s Global Chef program, sharing his Chilean cuisine with America. This tour allows people to experience the flavors of Chilean cuisine, which is unfamiliar to many American pallets.
“Every day we try to provide diners with a unique experience.” Said Chef Mauricio. “Food is experience. Although our food is simply prepared, we prepare it with love and we believe the end result reflects that.”
There were many staple dishes of Chilean cuisine available including a skewer with chicken, pork and peppers; chicken cooked in Cognac; barley risotto with onion and tomato and a salad with shredded beef and caramelized onions.
Chilean cuisine is simply prepared with fresh, quality ingredients and stems from many Spanish influences. Chile has a diverse agricultural climate, making many fresh fruits and vegetables essential in Chilean cuisine.
For more than 20 years, Chef Mauricio has delighted thousands of Sodexo guests with his culinary specialties. He has served more than 3,100 guests per day at the historic Banco de Chile in Santiago and more than 7,000 daily meals as Executive Chef at Minera Escondido, the world’s largest copper producing mine in the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta.
Chef Mauricio’s interest in cooking began as a child, when he saw his father cooking with wood and flame. His interest then developed farther as he became more classically trained.
After studying International Technical Gastronomy at El Instituto de Capacitation Profesional de Chile, Chef Mauricio trained at Hotel Carrera in Santiago. He then joined the culinary teams at Paseo San Damian Mexican Restaurant, Restaurant Branigo Gourmet Pub, and Hotel Hyatt, and catered kosher food events for more than 12 years.
“It has been an amazing experience to be able to share the food of my country with the people of America. It is so awesome when people come to me and tell me how delicious my food was and how much it meant to them to try Chilean cuisine,” Chef Mauricio said.