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With a unique twist on a national favorite dish, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Chef Jason Timmons, brought home gold from the ARAMARK Culinary Excellence (ACE) Challenge, held last week at the University of South Alabama.

Timmons beat out the competition with his entrée, a “Deconstructed Bacon Cheeseburger en Croute” with homemade ketchup and spicy mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion napoleon with candied bacon. Timmon’s dessert dish won over the judge’s tastebuds with an “Inside Out Pineapple Upside Down Cake” topped with coconut whipped cream, cinnamon, and cayenne dulce de leche and served with candied strawberry spears.

Timmons now moves to the final round of the Regional ACE competition at Berry College in a few weeks. If successful there, he will move on compete at the National Culinary Excellence Challenge in November.

At 11:00 a.m. today, UT will host the final South Region ACE Competition at Presidential Court Café. Attendees can sample the food made by competing chefs, as well as congratulate Timmons, who will attend, but will not be competing.

Each chef will have four hours to prep, cook, and serve their meal. They will each prepare an entrée, side dish, and dessert for the judges and students. The cost is $5, and students can use their meal plan to pay. Each diner will be asked to vote on their favorite dish.

The ACE program allows the opportunity for chefs from colleges, universities, and conference centers around the country to showcase their culinary skills in a competitive environment. Eleven chefs will compete at UT on Thursday, and one will advance to the finals.

Timmons is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina.

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C O N T A C T :

Mary Leslie Patterson (865-974-7873,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,