Culinary students test cooking abilities

Annual Iron Chef cook-off helps bring in department revenue


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

Culinary arts major Tatiana Abrea (left) serves a dish to Brenda Pless, a senior library assistant (right), during the Iron Chef Competition in the Three Seasons Restaurant on Aug. 28.

By Sean Whatley, Staff Writer

The culinary arts department at Contra Costa College hosted its Iron Chef Competition to initiate the beginning of the 2014 fall semester.

Culinary students and instructors worked together to put on a buffet style lunch in the Applied Arts Building, room AA-239.

“We always have different themes for the (Iron Chef) event,” culinary arts department chairperson Nader Sharkes said. “The theme this time was casual street food, like what you would find at food trucks.”

“(Iron Chef) is a friendly competition,” student bakery chef Ron Webster said. “It is an opportunity to show (Sharkes) what the (culinary students) can do.”

The five teams competed against each other, preparing dishes centered on the theme of street food.

The $5 admission granted guests a ticket, which they would later return in order to vote for their favorite dish.

“(Iron Chef) event is a way to kick off the opening of the (Three Seasons) restaurant,” baking instructor Claire Legas said. “Its a way to get the campus community excited.”

The restaurant is open Tues. through Thur. from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The competition serves as a fundraiser for the culinary arts department.

“Any money that is raised by the program goes right back into it,” Legas said.

The $5 admission granted guests a ticket, which they would later return in order to vote for their favorite dish.

Dishes included a kabob medley, chicken pancit with fried wontons, chicken sopas, garlic noodles with grilled lemon chicken and lumpia.

Team Blasion won first place with its’ lumpia creation, while the TNT Divas placed second with their garlic noodles.

“The garlic noodles are the bomb,” Gloria Gideon Three Seasons patron said. “The food is high quality and prepared (well).”

Second, third and fourth place were awarded to team Bozos (kabob medley) team Funky Chicken (chicken pancit) and team Salsa (chicken sopas), respectively.

“The lumpia were top dollar, but the two sauces were what did it. They hit the palate hard,” team Blasion competitor and student Malcolm Moore said.

Moore said his team had different ideas for what to prepare at the start of the competition, but were able to put their differences aside to prepare a winning dish.

“It feels good to be a winner,” he said. “I’m going to definitely going to post this on Facebook.”