Last Saturday Claudia and I held the second-to-last Adult Cooking and Nutrition class of our PD year, so, to go out with a bang we decided to hold a cooking competition with our students, Iron Chef style. We divided the students into two teams and each team received their own, very different ingredients. Team One received chicken breast, green onions, soy sauce, a mandarin, peanuts and bean sprouts. Team Two received beef, a tomato, an avocado, black beans, choclo (Ecuadorean corn on the cob), a red pepper and tomato paste. They were instructed to use all of the skills they had obtained in their year of cooking classes with Claudia and I, and to be as creative as possible. Each team was given 5 minutes to discuss their tactics and and 30 minutes to carry it out. They would be judged, by the impeccable palates of Claudia and I, on presentation, flavor and creativity.
With surprising competitiveness (for a decidedly non-competitive race of people), the two teams set to work dicing, slicing and sautéing for what were sure to be two very interesting and distinct meals.
Gastón whipping up something good
The two teams hard at work while Judge Virginia watches over
In the end, both teams exceed the expectations of the judges. Both dishes were tasty and colorful and during the judging, to our delight, the students even explained to us the nutritious facts and health benefits of each of the plate's components.
Team Two's "Mexican Creation", favored by Profe Claudia, obviously. Interesting usage of the tomato paste as a sauce...
Team One's "Asian Invasion"...hmm...there's something oddly Ecuadorean about this plate presentation.
After an arduous judging process of tasting, it was Team One who took home the title of Iron Manna Chef....Chef Manna Iron...Manna Iron Chef...but in the end we all were winners...especially Claudia and I because we got to do all the eating.