| 03.18.2018

Iron Chef University of Idaho — UI collaboration brings cook-off event to students

The University of Idaho Residence Hall Association, Vandal Nutrition and Campus Dining are collaborating to host an event based on the TV show, “Iron Chef.”

The event will take place at 6 p.m., Oct. 16 in Bob’s Place. It will feature two student volunteers as competitors. Campus dining will provide the ingredients, location and equipment.

The event will be hosted by Marissa Rudley, UI’s campus dietician, and Margaret Lucas who works with campus dining. Rudley and Lucas will commentate during the event and play music amid announcements beforehand. Competitors will informally be chosen at random by Rudley and Lucas from the dining hall’s crowd.

“Basically, we’re just going to (choose) the first two people to volunteer,” said Kendra Buell, RHA programming chair. “So, it might be crazy.”

After opening announcements, the hosts will prompt students to volunteer.

“I think it’s fun sometimes to see students cooking, because often times students might feel so disconnected from the food experience, from cooking or being creative,” Rudley said. “So it’s a fun way to kind of bridge that gap.”

The theme of the cook-off will be international, as the event coincides with World Food Day. Although the majority of ingredients are secret, Lucas said there will be pasta, rice and noodles. The remaining ingredients will be assorted vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, green beans and spinach. There will also be meat and up to three different sauces for contestants to use.

“Basically, they’re just creating an international dish with noodles,” Lucas said.

According to Rudley, students will have 25 minutes to cook a meal. Within reason, students may cook whatever they desire.

“We’ll give (the food) to the judge, and they’ll be judging on taste, appearance, creativity with the use of ingredients,” Rudley said.

The judge will tally a score sheet and announce a winner soon thereafter.

Prizes will be provided to both volunteer competitors. These prizes will potentially include gift cards to the VandalStore. Campus dining, including locations such as Jamba Juice, may also contribute free meals and drinks.

Audience members won’t taste the competitor’s food until potentially the next day. Though it’s still being debated, the winner’s dish may be served for lunch and dinner at the Noodle Bowl in Bob’s the following evening.

An international guest from Germany was intended to judge the Iron Chef event, but will be leaving campus before the competition begins. According to Lucas, the judge of the competition will be one of the chefs or managers of Bob’s.

A similar event occurred twice last year for Daytime Distractions in the Commons. Students were chosen at random and cooked in the Idaho Commons Food Court.

“Believe me when I say, it’s going to be a very fun and dramatic type of event,” Rudley said.

For students interested in cooking and looking for more opportunities to cook, Rudley teaches a cooking class every month. The next class will be Oct. 29 in a Student Recreation Center classroom.

Jake Smith can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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