UR chef carves pumpkins for White House event

University of Richmond executive chef Glenn Pruden helped create a spooky graveyard of pumpkin skeletons, headstones, bony hands and vultures on the White House lawn Saturday.
 
Pruden worked on a team of carvers that included the winners of Food Network’s Pumpkin Challenge and $50,000 carving competition. James Parker of Veggy Art in Chantilly organized the White House team and invited Pruden to participate.

Parker recently trained university dining services employees in the art of carving fruits and vegetables and is the current  Food Network Fruit Sculpture Challenge champion. Pruden said he was the “new guy” on the team, although he has been carving for many years.
 
Although Pruden did not meet the Obama family, the White House lawn was open to the public Saturday afternoon for local D.C. children to see the sculptures and watch the carvers at work.
 
“In spite of the cold, wet weather, it was exciting to hear the kids’ and parents’ comments about the sculpted pumpkin graveyard,” said Pruden.
 
Pruden has worked at the university 33 years and also serves as adjunct professor in the university’s Culinary Arts Program in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies.

(Pruden is pictured, at left, with Dean Murray, an ice and sand sculptor from Wisconsin.)
 
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