The annual Maryland Day open-house festival has drawn tens of thousands of visitors to the campus of the University of Maryland each spring for the past 15 years. There, they are treated to more than 400 tours, events and activities that show off the 1,250-acre campus and the academic and research work done there.

This year, the school’s Dining Services decided they would put on a special show of their own as part of the event’s Fearless Festival activities. Rather than the usual booth that samples of some of the dishes prepared for students as part of the campus dining program, UMD chefs got on the high wire, ditched the net and proceeded to prance across the chasm below. It was amazingly “fearless,” in a culinary way, of course.

The chefs took on several daunting classic dishes, preparing them out in the open air, in front of anyone who cared to look.

“It’s a way to show off the talent of our people, to promote our services to the community and to offer visitors something interesting and educational,” says Coleen Wright-Riva, director of UMD Dining.

The lineup of chefs and the dishes they prepared included...

Beef Wellington, prepared by Chef George Gomez

Paella, prepared by Chef Ivory Kornegay

Seared Rockfish with Hollandaise Sauce, prepared by Chef Rob Fahey

Buttermilk Soufflé Pancakes, prepared by Chef Thomas Schraa

Baked Alaska, prepared by Chef John Gray.

UMD didn’t stop at the entrees. The school’s Dairy served Fearless Ice Cream, a special concoction consisting of vanilla ice cream studded with cacao nibs, swirled with caramel and accented with spicy Thai mango and red hot pepper melba.