By Lilo Noort

Hey everyone! It’s Lilo, your Student Food Ambassador bringing you the scoop on what’s happening with food at Carleton.

Are you a fan of competitive cooking shows? I am, which is why I was super excited to be asked to take part in Dining Services’ second annual Iron Chef competition!

In case you’re not familiar with Carleton’s Iron Chef event, it’s essentially a cook-off pitting three teams against one another to come up with the most creative and delicious dishes using ingredients from the “surprise box” that each team received a mere 60 minutes before the cooking started. This year, the box featured locally sourced ingredients such as mushrooms from Le Coprin Farm.

The event was just as spectacular as any Cut Throat Kitchen episode. Each team consisted of two students and a chef, who only had 60 minutes to create a dish from scratch and place it before the judges. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be on the judging panel and was able to try – and rate – all the wonderful creations the competitors whipped up.

The first team prepared roasted chicken, stuffed with a tofu-mushroom filling, on a bed of grilled Brussel sprouts, chickpeas and mushrooms. This was one of my favourite dishes, mainly because I’m a sucker for both tofu and mushrooms.

The second team used the secret ingredients to put a spin on a classic fried chicken recipe. They served it with hummus and grilled tofu pieces all topped with a seasonal berry puree. My favourite part of this dish was how bright and colourful it was! I’m not usually a fan of fried chicken, but this dish was an amazing take on a cult classic.

The third and final team served their meal in two parts. The first dish was a Brussel sprout gazpacho, topped with roasted sunflower seeds and goji berries. For me, this was the highlight of the event! I love trying unique spins on vegetable dishes and this was one of the most original ways I have ever eaten sprouts! The gazpacho was quickly followed up by roasted chicken featuring tofu & carrot puree, roasted mushrooms, all served on a bed of creamy risotto. In true Iron Chef fashion, I have to comment on how perfectly this dish was plated. It was just as delicious to eat as it was to look at!

Once the judging panel had sampled all the dishes, we were then tasked with rating each plate based upon presentation, creativity, and taste. The scores were tallied up, and in a narrow vote team 3 took first place, followed closely by teams one and two respectively.

This year’s Iron Chef competition not only allowed me to eat copious amounts of delectable food, but also helped promote the fact that locally sourced ingredients go into many of the amazing food offerings across campus. From the cheese that tops the poutine at Oasis, to the vegetables served at the farmer’s market section at the caf, food on campus is always sprinkled with local love. If you missed the competition this year, fear not! Carleton’s Dining Services plans on continuing this fun event again next year.

Is there something food related happening at Carleton that I should know/write about? Let me know on Instagram or Twitter!

Monday, January 21, 2019 in , , ,
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