Nicholls student to participate in umami cookoff

Scott Ward

THIBODAUX, La. — A Nicholls State University culinary student will compete in a cookoff at the World Umami Conference in New York City from Sept. 19-21.

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute was one of six schools invited to participate in the conference and chose sophomore Scott Ward to represent the school in the competition.

“It is just an incredible honor to be chosen to represent the school in the first place — it means the world to me,” the New Orleans native said. “I think by being chosen for the conference, it shows that people clearly see Nicholls as an upper echelon culinary institute.”

Sometimes described as savory, umami is the fifth taste to go along with salty, sour, sweet and bitter in the Japanese tradition.

Participants will have two hours to create an umami-inspired dish.

Ward will prepare a New Orleans style barbecue shrimp and koji rice infused wagyu beef filet.

The winner of the competition will receive an 18-day trip to Japan to immerse themselves in the traditions of umami.

“To me, umami is hard to explain,” Ward said. “It is just that sense or flavor, which is hard to pinpoint, that certain foods have that makes them very special to eat.”


CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

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