Annual Campus Iron Chef Competition Yields New Champs

By Carmin Wills

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The third annual Iron Chef competition winner has been announced. Henderson’s version of the  “Iron Chef” competition was between five residence halls, Newberry, Smith, East, West and Sturgis. The winners of the first two days then competed for bragging rights and a trophy on the final day. 

As the three judges sat and patiently awaited their food, Zachery Noga, senior mass media major, was the official master of ceremonies for the second year in a row. 

Noga entertained the crowd and the judges by playing trivia games. The laughter and excitement grew throughout the Caddo. 

Noga said there was not a good turn out this year but the contestants were not concerned with this, their only thoughts were to get their best dishes presented to the judges.

“Each group is determined to win,” Noga said. 

The first round of the evening was appetizers. They were plated and served to the judges. East served a lemon pepper grilled shrimp and Sturgis served their coconut bacon wrapped shrimp. The judges were impressed with the presentation of each dish. The winner of the appetizer round was Sturgis. Ricki Rebollar, graduate assistant, enjoyed the shrimp dishes. He took a bite of East’s shrimp and smiled.

“Very interesting flavor,” Rebollar said.

Along with flavor, these dishes were judged on originality, presentation, creativity and use of a secret ingredient. 

Sturgis won this round with the sweetness of the coconut along with the bacon wrapped shrimp. 

This was a nice combination for the judges. With the appetizer round completed, the contestants went back to the kitchen to prepare for their main dish. The teams were chopping, dicing and mixing their ingredients for their main course. 

During this hour Patrick Durbin, junior political science major, one of the chefs for East had a small malfunction with their burners.

“They just stopped working,” Durbin said.

This set the team’s nerves on edge, but was quickly resolved by the staff of Caddo. Sturgis did not have any problems and continued to prep. 

While these teams cooked, the audience could talk to the contestants and get an up close view of the controlled chaos behind the counter. 

About that time in walked Johnathon Love, freshman nursing major, who was rival chef to East the day before. Love started smack-talking to Durbin about his chicken, trying to throw him off his game. 

“We should be in this kitchen right now,” Love said.

 Love said his team lost because their homemade potato chips were too salty for the judges. East was preparing chicken with sautéed tomatoes and mushrooms, served with a chicken broth sauce over noodles. 

Sturgis was preparing their salmon over mashed potatoes and mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese, shrimp and peppers. Everyone’s mouths were watering. Rio Cummings, educational specialist and counselor of student support services, was one of the judges for the event.  “The salmon was light and airy, the two different flavors of hummus and guacamole blended together well,” Cummings said.

It is fun to watch students in this different element, Cummings said, “They invest their time, work together and produce great meals.”

When the main dishes were served the judges took a bite and wrote on their score cards. The score cards were totaled, and the winner was announced.

Sturgis’ team, Josh Switzer, sophomore social science education major, Kayla Kastern, sophomore psychology and spanish double major, and Greta Goslee, freshman communications major, won, each received individual Henderson “Iron Chef” trophies and bragging rights for the next year.  

Brittney Stephens, graduate student of accounting, put the event together this year. Students, faculty and staff enjoy “Iron Chef” and she is sure that it will be repeated for many years to come.