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UM Executive Chef Honored with Annual Award

Tom Siegel, a certified executive chef of University of Montana University Dining Services, recently was named "Chef of the Year."

The Montana Chefs Association, the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation, made the announcement at its annual Chef of the Year Dinner on June 13.

The award recognizes Siegel for his dedication to ACF members and his passion for the culinary profession. He has been an ACF member since 1995 and received Chef of the Year honors for the first time that same year.

Since 1978, Siegel has devoted his career to educating UM guests and staff members about culinary issues, international cuisine and sustainable food practices. He has won numerous regional, national and international culinary awards individually and on behalf of UM.

Siegel helped create the Dining Services Culinary Faculty, which is dedicated to staff training and the betterment of cuisine on campus. His leadership in University Dining Services has set a high standard for on-campus dining. He was instrumental in the establishing the Culinary Professional Career Ladder that is used throughout the Montana University System.

Also an accomplished ice carver, Siegel earned a silver medal in the ACF Inland Northwest Culinary Competition by fashioning a one-sixth-scale baby grand piano out of a 300-pound block of ice.