The knives were out at this semester’s Battle of the Chefs competition. The event, part of Student Wellness Week 2009, was held on Thursday, Sept. 23 in Montgoris Dining Hall.
Three teams competed in the event: Team Zoo, The Crew and Team S.W.E.L.L.
The teams were comprised of St. John’s students and staff.
The judges consisted of the winning team from last semester’s St. John’s Iron Chef competition.
This was the third semester that the event has been held. Vince Picciotto, executive chef of Chartwells, said students are invited to participate on a first come, first serve basis.
Similar to the Iron Chef television show, which airs on the Food Network, students and faculty are provided with a set-up table and a market basket. Students were also provided with herbs, spices and healthy ingredients to utilize in their dishes.
“Our chefs take a lot of pride in their work and truly enjoy this opportunity to engage with the students,” said Mary Ellen Bingham, campus dietician and sports nutritionist.
The winners of last spring’s competition were the student judges this year, and they all agreed that it was a tough decision because all three teams did such a great job.”
Picciotto provided students with a set of criteria and explained the rules to each team. The teams had ten minutes to come up with their menus. Then they had an hour to complete their meals.
Picciotto said that the event had more than one goal.
“This was an event targeted to not only learn how to cook healthy, but so that students could get to know each other and the faculty as well,” he said.
The winning dish this year was a Cajun inspired chicken dish submitted by The Crew. As the winning team this semester, they will judge the spring 2010 competition. Each team member won a Nikon digital camera.
“The Iron Chef competition was a great experience,” said Danica Javier, a member of the winning team. “We liked that we were given the opportunity to compete and have fun while creating health conscious food. We did not know there were any prizes, so when we won we were ecstatic.”