Last Saturday, U of T came in second place in the annual inter-university Iron Chef Competition at New College. U of T was 1.5 points behind the University of Massachusetts Amherst, McGill University placed third, and University of Ottawa placed fourth.
The competition was hosted for the first time at U of T, and was led by U of T’s director of culinary operations and executive chef, Jaco Lokker.
Each team consisted of four student chefs who had to prepare an appetizer and a main course within two hours.
The competition was held as a black-box style. Prior to the competition, each team was made aware of the available protein choices, including pork and salmon, but only found out about the other “mystery” ingredients: konnyaku, lemon grass, tandoori paste, beluga lentils, and blue cheese last Friday at 6 p.m.
The students selected to represent U of T this year were: Jordan Su, a fourth-year human geography major; Brettany Colette, a fourth-year equity studies major; Felipe Branco, an MBA student at the Rotman School of Management; and Ailin Xi, a second-year biochemistry and nutritional science double major, who was selected as the back-up chef.
The U of T team prepared for the competition through practice sessions with the executive chef of the New College’s Residential Dining Department, James Piggott. Piggott has also represented Canada three times in the World Culinary Olympics and has been the executive chef at several Toronto hotels for the last 15 years.
Last year, the competition was held at the University of Ottawa, where McGill University won the Iron Chef competition and advanced to the international competition.