UTPA community to experience a taste of Peru
Posted: 10/18/2007
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Students and members of The University of Texas-Pan American community can experience a taste of South America on Wednesday, Oct. 24. As part of a Global Chef program, lunch at the University Cafeteria will feature guest chef Juan Carlos Barzola from Peru.

Barzola, an executive chef with Sodexho, the food service company that provides UTPA campus dining, will serve up exotic culinary dishes from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Appetizers include vegetarian ceviche and chicken causa, followed by an entrée of grilled chicken and plantain salad, finished off with rice pudding and a flan-like dessert. The cost is $6.25 per person and includes tax and a drink.

Sodexho's Global Chef program is designed to bring executive chefs from Sodexho affiliates around the world to campuses across the United States, with the chefs sharing authentic, international cuisine and traditional cooking techniques.

"The response to our Global Chef program has been overwhelming. Students love the authentic cuisine and the emphasis on diversity that the chefs bring to campus," Warren Jaferian, vice president of the Worldwide Education Market at Sodexho, said. "We think that program supports the University's mission and creates co-curricular learning experience for students."

In addition to UTPA, Barzola is on a month-long tour taking him to Tulane University, Loyola Marymount University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rockhurst University, Emporia State University, Letourneau University, Texas Christian University, Linfield College, and Whitworth University.

Barzola has 10 years of experience covering all areas of the food industry. After he graduated from high school in Peru, he moved to the United States to study management at the Queens College Spanish American Institute and New York Institute of Business Technology.

He took courses at the French Culinary Institute in New York, where he followed his passion for all aspects of the culinary arts and interned for fine New York restaurants and caterers. Upon returning to his beloved Peru, he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Peru to pursue his education in the culinary arts and hotel management.

Since completing his formal culinary training, Barzola has directed kitchens for several prestigious restaurants, hotels and cruise ships. He was a junior sous chef and food production manager at the JW Marriott Hotel in Lima, and the executive chef for APC Corporation, one of the biggest catering companies in Peru. He also worked for Royal Caribbean/Celebrity Cruises in Europe, alongside other great chefs from around the world.

Edward Yduarte, interim general manager for Sodexho at UTPA, said Sodexho tries to bring a global chef to each of its campuses throughout the nation each year.

"Sodexho is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality of service using the rich resources and talent our international organization offers," he said. "One of our most valuable resources is our chefs, who are some of the most skilled and respected professionals in the industry worldwide."

For more information about Barzola's visit, call Yduarte at 956/292-7485.