UA chefs raise iron bar

“The University of Akron hosted the campus’ Iron Chef Competition on Monday evening in the Student Union Ballrooms. The competition allowed three groups of five students to compete against each for top chef. Each team was under the supervision of a chef advisor for the dinner.”

The University of Akron hosted the campus’ Iron Chef Competition on Monday evening in the Student Union Ballrooms.

The competition allowed three groups of five students to compete against each for top chef. Each team was under the supervision of a chef advisor for the dinner.

The winner of the competition, the Blue Team, received $500, allotting $100 prize for each team member. Blue Team members consisted of Alex Lau, Brenden Gilpatrick, Richard Molnar Jr., Melissa Taylor, Nathan Paul and advisor Mark Kent.

Through out the night students worked diligently under the watchful eye of their audience, which included several UA vice presidents and department heads.

The chefs-in-training prepared dishes of Mahi-Mahi, rack of lamb, poached pear salad and spring vegetables for the three judges.

The food judges included Akron Beacon Journal food editor Lisa Abraham, Provost Beth Stroble and Theresa Proenza, wife of UA President Luis Proenza.

The audience was also treated to dinner prepared by chefs in the back, leaving the judges to be the only ones to try the student cuisines.

Abraham, who was invited by Kent, the operations manager for the Crystal Room, said she looked forward to seeing students creativity.

Just seeing how creative students get with the ingredients, she said.

Dr. Beth Stroble got involved in the very beginning by suggesting the idea of creating Akron’s own Iron Chef competition. She thinks being asked to judge the competition is her repayment for coming up with the idea.

While she admitted that she might not be the most experienced judge on the panel, she does in fact know her food. Stroble admitted that she often watches the Food Network and its various shows.

The best thing about the competition for Stroble, however, was the interaction of the students with Akron.

Any time we can bring students together with faculty and the Akron community, that’s great, she said.

Theresa Proenza was asked by Stroble to judge the competition. She said that she loved to cook – even Stroble called her a gourmet cook.

Students worked steadily in the hour leading up to submitting their finished entrées to the judges. The front of the ballroom was filled with the sound of students asking for pieces of equipment and student chatter.

One person taking part in the chatter was Jeremy Neidert, a member of the white team.

We’re suppose to be serious, but we’re having too much fun, Neidert said to his advisor.


” #1.1361127:2499986209.jpg:20080401_food_md.jpg:Students present their prepared dishes to judges for the Iron Chef Competition.:Melissa Dunfee”