‘Chef-a-holics’ triumph in Iron Chef bout


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Culinary arts major Jocelyn Samson (right) jumps after hearing her team had won first place during the Iron Chef competition in the Three Seasons Restaurant on Wednesday.

By Salvador Godoy and Denis Perez

The “Chef-a-holics” won the Iron Chef Competition hosted by the culinary art department on Wednesday in the Three Season Restaurant.

Contra Costa College student participants in the challenge were given a “Super Bowl tailgate” theme to work into their dishes.

“The theme of the (Iron Chef) competition today is this weekend’s Super Bowl tailgate,” culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said.

After receiving their theme student participants took a week to form ideas and concepts about what dish to make that would win over the diverse crowd that the event brings.

The winners, “Chef-a-holics,” cooked up a soft pork bun packed with pulled pork topped with a creamy coleslaw.

Other teams’ dishes included Korean Chili Aioli, Blazed Pork Bellied, Chicken Taco, Fish and Pork Sliders.

HSI/STEM staffer like Ysrael Condori and his fellow staff also enjoyed their lunch in AA-110. Construction workers found time to take a break from erecting the Campus Center and Classroom Buildings to relaxing near the buffet tables at the Iron Chef Competition.

Some team members had a positive and energetic outlook while preparing the foods for guests who voted for their favorite dish.

“My team gained a lot of confidence while preparing the food, we’re really proud,” culinary student, Joseph Ramirez said.

Students were motivated and busy at work in cooking the dishes as the lunch rush came through.

The competition continued up until 1 p.m. Then the teams were gathered and the results were announced.

After third and second place were awarded their runners-up prizes the teams were ready to hear who was this semester’s Iron Chef Competition’s winner.

“The Chef-a-holics,” as the winning team, won whisks, spachulas, lunch coupons and a crackpot.

The money raised in the Iron Chef Competition goes straight into the culinary arts department fund.

This competition is held every fall and spring semester to provide funding for scholarships that are given out to culinary students for a travel abroad program.

“We have scholarships that allow culinary students the chance to enhance their skills by sending them to Italy,” culinary student Jocelyn Samson said.

Last year every recipient of the scholarship was given $7,000 worth of financial coverage to pay for the cost of the trip across the Atlantic.

Samson said, “We have to come up with a certain amount of money so that more people can be accepted for the (travel abroad) scholarship.”   

Last year six culinary arts students’ hard work paid off when they received scholarships and studied abroad in Italy for 17 days over the summer.

The Three Seasons Restaurant, located in AA-239, is open through Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.