First Iron Chef Meredith Competition Held

Two teams of nutrition students competed in the first Iron Chef Meredith Competition on November 18. Based on the popular Food Network show, the competition required students to prepare and serve a three course meal for 30 people.

“The Iron Chef Meredith event shows that Meredith’s Foods and Nutrition program is serious about good food and teaching our students how to make food a positive and nourishing part of their lives,” said Assistant Professor of Foods and Nutrition Ronni Bowen Westbrook.

Prior to the meal, participants were treated to appetizers and Iron Chef-style commentary from Professor of Foods and Nutrition Bill Landis and graduate student Carson Garoni while the meals were completed.

The evening’s theme was “Challenge Farmer’s Market” and the menu emphasized local, seasonal food. Guests were able to enjoy a local and seasonal three-course meal featuring roasted pork tenderloin with braised apples, winter greens, and root vegetable medley, or the vegetarian option, which featured parpadelle pasta with caramelized butternut squash, goat cheese, and toasted pecans.

The fun event also had an educational purpose.

“As part of the curriculum, foods and nutrition students in the Food Service Management class are required to plan, develop and execute a culminating meal incorporating principles and techniques learned throughout the semester,” said Westbrook. “One of the challenges of this assignment is to produce a quality meal for a large number of people in a limited amount of time. The Iron Chef format is a perfect match. It also allows for a little friendly competition among the students and audience participation.”

The teams were the Culinary Cadets, who cooked the meat entrees, and Bountiful Harvest, who cooked the vegetarian option. At the end of competition, the four judge panel was split in the vote for overall best meal. The tie was broken by numerical score, giving the Culinary Cadets the win.

Iron Chef Meredith was sponsored by Meredith’s Department of Human Environmental Sciences and the Foods and Nutrition Program..

Date Submitted: 2009-11-25

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