Third annual CMU Iron Chef Dorm Cookoff

On Saturday, November 5th from 4-6pm in Rangos ballroom was the third annual Iron Chef dorm cookoff competition, hosted by the Student Dormitory Council (SDC). Eight teams from several residence halls signed up to compete for the ultimate pride for their own halls and a chance for their own culinary creations to be featured at an on-campus dining location next semester. The secret ingredient this year that teams based their dishes on is apples. Specifically, teams were provided with three types of apples – Fuji, Ginger Gold, and Granny Smith – for their applelicious creations.

The judges getting ready to taste the dishes (From left to right: Daragh Byrne, Molly Steenson, Pascal Petter, Thomas Rainey, Veronica Peet)

The teams prepared their dishes in advance and presented the day of at the event for student visitors and a faculty/staff panel of judges alike to taste and enjoy. This year’s panel of judges include director of Dining Pascal Petter, Housefellow for Mudge House Thomas Rainey, senior academic advisor for the Science and Humanities Scholars (SHS) program Veronica Peet, associate professor in Design Molly Steenson, and assistant teaching professor in Architecture Daragh Byrne. Each judge brought a different perspective to the evaluation process.

Hosted by senior Cognitive Science major Kanisha Vaughn and Chemical Engineering/EPP double major Tanvi Joshi, the event saw consistent stream of people drawn by the sweet aroma of apples with the judges and hosts mingling among the students. In addition, cmuTV, the campus filming organization, hosted a livestream so others could also view the event remotely. From the words of one participant, he found the “light atmosphere” that was induced by the “hosts’ more casual take [compared to the past two years] extremely enjoyable.” And with the nature of apples, most of the dishes were sweet (and also vegetarian actually), perfect for the sweet tooths and vegetarian-friendly. Dishes ranged from the more classic caramelized apple tart to the more creative apples with Chinese-style fermented sticky rice balls and hometown flavored Wisconsin-style apple grilled cheese. Fact: the cheese used in the grilled cheese came directly from the heartland of Wisconsin.

However, despite all of the dishes being amazing (clear instance of the multi-talented CMU student – whether academics, extracurriculars, or food, we CMU students really do put our hearts in the work), the judges announced the winner, the team with the privilege of the title “3rd annual Iron Chef.” But before the judges’ choice was announced, the hosts announced the results of the students’ choice winner – the dish that the students collectively voted to be their favorite – the ‘Hot Lightning, French-style’ (potatoes, brie, and apples) dish made by team Misters Worldwide from Morewood Gardens. Their dish, one of the few savory dishes of the night, resembled a classy dish which one could see at a fancy French bistro. Served hot, it was a good dish on the unusually cold day that day. Fittingly, the students’ choice winners received SDC sweatshirts to keep them warm for this coming winter season.

Three Musketeers from Boss/McGill community, the third annual Iron Chef winners (Judges Choice) posing with the judges

And the “3rd annual Iron Chef” went to the team Three Musketeers from the Boss/McGill first-years community with apple bread pudding. Congrats to the three aspiring young women; they each received gift cards to the campus bookstore. Their dish will also be featured on campus next semester in Resnik dining location for a week. We cannot wait to try the apple bread pudding again and share it with the entire campus community. The SDC Events committee that hosted the event would like to say thanks to the teams, the judges, CMU Dining Services and CulinArt for providing the food equipment, and cmuTV for a successful event. The event that day brought many different people together in the Rangos ballroom celebrating the amazing dishes of food. Because, at the end of the day, we’re all more common than we might think – like this with our love of food – and thus is the real reason for this Iron Chef competition. Bringing people together and joy to everyone as well as celebrating the unique talents each person has to offer are what ultimately SDC Events is.


The SDC Events committee

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