Those exciting words that begin every Iron Chef competition were chanted on January 31 at Phi Tau. In the first-ever co-ed Iron Chef competition, a three-man team from the Alpha Theta fraternity battled a four-man team from the Phi Tau fraternity.
Prior to the competition, each house received a list of ten possible secret ingredients: beets, chili peppers, chips, coffee beans, cranberries, soda, oranges, panko, peanuts and lactose-free yogurt. Each house then had to choose a secret ingredient for the other team to use. Phi Tau chose oranges as Alpha Theta’s special ingredient, and Alpha Theta chose chili peppers – specifically Poblano Peppers – for Phi Tau.
Over two frantic hours the teams worked tirelessly to prep, cook and plate their starter, main course and dessert. Watching the teams cook was an exciting experience as there were no moments of rest. The teams were pushing food at incredible speed and with incredible creativity. There were cheesecake, candied oranges, chili, and even kale chips.
However, watching them cook was not nearly as exciting as the twist Alpha Theta’s own Alton Brown, Etai Klein, announced: at the one hour mark the head chefs had to switch teams for ten minutes, as though the competition was not intense and nerve-wracking enough for the chefs. But it would not be the Iron Chef if it did not push the contestant and try to stress them out.
The teams pulled through because it is Iron Chef, and, more importantly, it is Dartmouth and we always pull through. In two hours both teams managed to prep, cook and plate their three dishes.
Three unaffiliated judges tasted various dishes and rated them on taste, plating and originality. The judges were a reporter from Dartblog, a reporter from your very own Spoon University, and Dean Charlotte Johnson.
Both teams cooked exceptionally well, but in the end Phi Tau, with their crowd pleasing Poblano Pepper Cheesecake, won Dartmouth’s first ever Iron Chef Competition.