More than 10 groups faced off against each other in the sixth instalment of the “Battle of the Knives” cooking competition, held Saturday, Nov. 26 in the Restaurant International.
The event, in addition to being a culinary competition, was also a showcase for the restaurant itself, as people bought tickets to try the recipes and eat them during lunch on the same day.
In the kitchens, the students were working hard to bring creations to life. Everyone had a goal in common: two of the six plates they had to prepare, had to contain at least trout and cheese curds.
The winner of the competition was a team formed by Culinary Management second year student Won Suk Ju, first year chef training student Jordan Marenger, and first year event management students Emithyst McLauran.They were graded based on how tasty the recipes were, and how they were presented on the tables.
“We cooked six dishes; two were trout dishes, two were chicken dishes, and two were vegetarian dishes,” said Jordan Maranger. Their dishes included a trout mousse, a vegetable roulade, a Korean-style chicken bounty, and a croquette with basil and cheese curds. But their stand was assaulted to taste a deconstructed chicken taco, a taco without the shell, served on a spoon.
“It wasn’t supposed to be that way, at all,” said Maranger. “The dough of the shell kept losing the shape, and when we tried to cook it, it was…hard as a rock,” she added.
Nonetheless, the judges and the people loved it.
“I didn’t think we were going to win,” said Ju. “I was talking to another group during the nomination, because we were sure it wasn’t us.”
They split the dishes between the two cooks, and the event manager had to set the table, setting it and laying out he dishes.
The groups had never worked with each other before, so every contestant was paired with two random people. “I was so scared that once we go to the kitchen we wouldn’t work together,” said Maranger.
“I was scared to talk to them,” said McLauran. “I thought I’d get yelled at for being in the kitchen.”
The event wasn’t without problems, though. The event managers didn’t know they were supposed to bring out the dishes by themselves, and that caused confusion. “The organization overall was fine, I find,” said McLauran, “but the small logistical things could use some improvement next year.”
All the participants received a cooking knife, with the winning teams getting a medal based on their position.