South freshman serves up a win at Junior Iron Chef competition
October 14, 2017
On October 10, sixteen MPS middle and high school students entered the Junior Iron Chef competition. The winning team included local South High freshman Frances Levy, chef Jorge Guzman, NFL player Greg Coleman, and Miguel Lopez Zurita from Anwatin school.
Levy was not expecting to make it into the competition at all — she didn’t even apply. “My mom was one of the people that started it because she owns a catering company so she just got me involved because they needed somebody to fill in and I was available,” explained Levy.
“I didn’t know what to do going in there but first we just mingled and met the other teams and then we all ate dinner and they served us last year’s winning meal so that was fun,” Levi said. “The announcers talked for awhile and then we started cooking we had one hour to do it and then we served 6 plates to 6 judges and then about 15 minutes later they announced the winner.”
Liam Mcquaid is a senior from South who attended the competition with jazz band, “I was just there with other people from jazz band. We were just playing a combo as people walked in and milled around by the food, providing atmosphere.”
What marked Mcquaid was that kids with so much talent were able to get recognition. “It’s really cool to see all these kids pursuing something that they’re really passionate about and something that they’ve put a lot of time and effort into and seeing them recognized for that.”
A crucial part of the competition were the judges, including Joy Summers, who described herself in an interview over email as: “an area food writer and often lucky enough to be asked to judge different cooking competitions.”
Summers believes this competition will have a significant impact on the futures of the students who participated, “My hope, is that these students take this experience and build on their confidence. I know their skill inspired us judges. The dishes were fantastic and would stand up to just about anything any Minnesota restaurant would serve.”
“Working together under pressure is absolutely something that they will experience again outside of school and the artful skills of compromise and encouragement will serve them very well,” wrote Summers.
Summers continued to describe her role as judge, “I studied their technique, ability to work clean, use their tools, how they prepared each ingredient and then tasted the final product. I taste all the components separately and together to judge how well it comes together and how well each flavor works to build a complete dish.”
Despite almost not being part of the competition, Frances Levy managed to be part of a team that won a district wide cooking competition.