Iron chef throwdown
Culinary arts students test out creativity
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
Culinary arts students fired the kitchen back up to hold the semi-annual Iron Chef Cook-Off at the Three Seasons Restaurant on Aug. 30.
Located in the Applied Arts Building, the Three Seasons Restaurant officially opened its doors on Sept. 4.
Culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said that the cook off was to prepare students for the tension of working in the kitchen.
“The event is meant to bring the spirit of competition out in the students,” Sharkes said. “I want them to get the feel of the chaos in the kitchen and it’s a warm up to the (Three Seasons) opening.”
The students were divided into six teams of five students, each with their own group name. Sexy Back, Hazardous Dukes, Lewon Cactus, Dream Team, Nana’s Girls and Simply Baked were the teams asked to create a dish that fit the cook off theme, which was tacos.
“Every year I like to choose a dish that I feel students will enjoy,” Sharkes said. “(The cooking is) something fun. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like to eat tacos.”
The variety of flavored tacos offered to students were smoked fish, ceviche (a combination of seafood, citrus juices and peppers), fried beer battered, vegetarian Thai and barbecued pulled pork.
Guests, who paid a $5 fee, grabbed a plate and helped themselves to the student’s creations. Funds from the event will support the culinary arts department.
The traditional Mexican taco was absent from the choices, but that didn’t bother any students who were there to try out the variety of flavors.
“The tacos are really different than the ones I usually eat and they (culinary art students) all look happy and proud about what they’re putting out,” Academic and Student Services Manager Mayra Padilla said.
Political sciences major Tyler Wojtowics said that it wasn’t just the tacos that brought him to the cookoff, but also the fact that students would be competing.
“The competition brings out the best in people so we get to taste the best,” he said.
Despite the lively ambiance, guests and students had to remember it was a competition.
Voting began at 11 a.m. and came to an end at 1 p.m. The tickets were tallied and the winners were announced. Prizes consisted of salt-and-pepper shakers, aprons, cook books and spices.
Nana’s Girls, which consisted of students Meredith Hurtado, Rosa Robinson, Naimah Matthews, Carolina Opiana and Anna-Marie Bothwell, won first place with its vegetarian Thai tacos.
“We didn’t want to do the traditional Mexican taco because we wanted to think outside the box and create something that no one else would imitate,” Hurtado said.
Team Simply Baked finished in second place with its barbecued pulled pork tacos and team Sexy Back finished in third place with its smoked fish and a peach twist tacos.