Iron Chef Caltech

Iron Chef Caltech

Every spring break, I spend my time doing these oh-so-productive activities:

  1. Sleep for 12 hours a day.

  2. Eat delicious home-cooked food.

  3. Watch lots of Iron Chef. Well this year, I decided to get a head-start on (one of) my spring break festivities! You see, I’m taking this cooking class that meets every Thursday night. The class is taught by Tom Mannion, and he regularly brings special guests and faculty to teach us different cooking techniques. The class is split up into 5 groups, there’s a cuisine and a recipe handout for each week, and we get about 2-3 hours to cook delicious food! The class is a pass/fail course, but we still have a final, and the final is a little like an Iron Chef competition, with a few notable differences:
  4. Iron Chef generally has 3-4 judges. We have 20.

  5. Iron Chef features many world-renowned chefs competing against each other, while we compete as part of our cooking team (of 7-8 people).

  6. Unlike an Iron Chef-watching experience, I actually got to taste and enjoy the food we made during our final! If you know how the show works, you’ll know that chefs are required to incorporate a “secret ingredient” in each one of their dishes. Our secret ingredient was… rice! Here’s what my group made: Appetizer 1: Les Champignon au Riz (wild rice and mushroom soup)

Appetizer 2: Rice Bites with Mango Pomegranate Salsa

To give you an idea of how beautifully colorful the salsa was:

Entree: Panner Masala with Basmatic Rice

Dessert: Arroz con Leche drizzled with Chocolate Mousse

Our chocolate mousse recipe called for a secret ingredient of its own: honey, cocoa powder, and….