As summer is winding down, the culinary team at the University of Southern California is gearing up: ratcheting up their skills with an intense training forum that starts this Friday. Super sharp culinary skills will come in handy: This new school year, there are new menus at the university’s 30-plus campus venues.

"Training & development vital to our organizational goals, improved productivity and consistency," says Eric Ernest, executive chef of USC. "Our summer training programs help our staff address any weaknesses or rust from summer session, improve performance & helps us define the exact control points that are vital to our products and services."

The theme of the training/forum is “A Chef’s Life.” Visiting chefs on campus for the event will tell their stories about how exactly—and why—they chose this high-energy career path. 

Taking advantage of its strategic partnerships, USC gathered participants, from both the onsite and commercial foodservice worlds, for the training forum,

One standout participant is Bryce Benes, chef at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA, fresh off his recent win at NACUFS, where he won an ACF gold medal at the NACUFS 2013 Chefs Culinary Challenge.

Other participating chefs include: Vic “Vegas” Moea, a self-trained restaurant chef in Las Vegas; Jesse Moreno, executive chef at MGM Grand in Las Vegas; Rahm Fana, celebrity chef; Anthony Cecala, culinary sales trainer/corporate chef, US Foods.