Like the show, but even better, William & Mary Dining hosted the 3rd Annual Iron Chef Competition in the Commons on Friday, October 28th . However, this year our competition went green! Three teams of four W&M students had the opportunity to show their culinary genius and battle against the W&M Dining sustainability interns Rebecca Starr, Colleen Swingle, and Molly Hilberg. This epic event brought Dining’s fun filled Week of Sustainability to an exciting close.
No experience was necessary for the four teams participating. Chef hats and aprons were distributed for contestants to wear while they were briefed by W&M Executive Chef, Denis Callinan, on rules and safety guidelines. A group walk-thru of the stations revealed what equipment was at their disposal and the additional pantry items they were able to use. The pantry consisted of a variety of locally purchased items including herbs from the campus garden.
Contestants were given an hour and 15 minutes to create and present an entrée and dessert. To add to the challenge, a mystery basket, containing many locally purchased goods, was placed at each station and teams were required to use at least six of the ten items inside. Items included: Gluten Free Rice Krispies, potatoes, apples, grapes, chipotle peppers, watermelon radish, Rockfish (Striped Bass), pork tenderloin, peanuts, and roasted squash.
An esteemed panel of judges watched the competition unfold while the food they were soon to eat was prepared. Ginger Ambler, VP of Student Affairs, Sarah Hanke, W&M Sustainability Fellow, Bee McLeod, Swem Board of Directors Chair, and Kate Slevin, Vice Provost of Academic Affiars, were accompanied by Arnie Preib, Special Diets Chef for the Commons Dining Hall, who was the kitchen judge as the panel of tasters.
Winners received gift cards to Trader Joe’s and will compete against VCU in the spring. The winning team was made up of Aaron Murphy, Sara McNeil, Michael Curcio, and Thompson Hangen. We are so proud of our W&M students that participated and all of the green fun that we had during this competition! We look forward to the championship next semester!