Saint Michael’s College is the winner of the “Vermont First Localvore Cooking Challenge” for the second year in a row.

Chefs at 9 local colleges were challenged to come up with a special dish, incorporating local ingredients, for Wednesday’s cooking competition.

“The criteria was as much local food as you could possibly do,” said Brian Roper, the general manager of dining services at Saint Michael’s College.

This is the second year Saint Michael’s College has hosted the challenge, Johnson State College hosted the first annual event.  That year, Champlain College took home first place.

“We do it in the winter to make it more of a challenge, ’cause there’s not a lot of fresh local products,” Roper said. “So you focus on proteins, your value added, or winter root vegetable.”

The Saint Michael’s team created a Vermont take on a classic TV dinner, featuring Vermont-grown beef tenderloin, sweet winter squash, and a popcorn shooter using Karen’s Artisan Popcorn and Sugarman’s maple syrup.

Colin, a sophmore at Saint Michael’s College, said he tried almost every dish, but the UVM Chicken and Waffles was his favorite.

Colleges that competed in Wednesday’s challenge included:

  • – Castleton University
  • – Champlain College
  • – Johnson State College
  • – Lyndon State College
  • – Norwich University
  • – Saint Michael’s College
  • – Southern Vermont College
  • – University of Vermont
  • – Vermont Tech

All 9 schools are clients of Sodexo and employ Sodexo chefs.