UNA Pressroom

University Of North Alabama Student Wins Wild Game Cook-off

Aug. 01, 2016



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Taylor Goodwin, University Communications FLORENCE, Ala. - "People watch the Food Network and dream about competing in these things," said Kin Merchant, University of North Alabama senior. And Merchant's dream recently became reality when he was named the winner of the Alabama Wildlife Federation Cookout Regional Championship in Athens, Alabama. However, this was not the Culinary Arts student's first time competing for the title. "I've been doing this competition since I entered the program three years ago," Merchant said. "Every year I try to do something different, something no one else would think of. This time I decided to do a wild game burger." Merchant's recipe won based on quality of appearance, taste and organization. "The best part is getting feedback," he said. "It's always awesome to see that look in their eyes when they taste something they enjoy. They're telling their friends, and they're pointing to your station. The next thing you know, you have a crowd of people coming over to see what you've made. It's a rush." In addition to holding the state title, Merchant said he is excited to be a part of the wildlife preservation that Alabama supports. "Alabama wildlife protects natural habitats," he said. "The cookout is one of the ways they promote preservation, and it's great to be involved in that." Merchant said that he has been cooking since he was 3 years old, but that he would never have reached his level of skill without the guidance of UNA's culinary instructors. "They really pushed me to be my best. It's an amazing program that I encourage anyone to try. I have loved the past three years at UNA because of it," Merchant said. For more information on UNA's Culinary Arts Program: https://www.una.edu/culinary/ UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and Nursing. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. UNA also operates a renowned collegiate athletic program in NCAA Division II's Gulf South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age or national origin. http://www.una.edu/

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/