Francesca Gervasi, Contributor
Anthony Lyen, Tempo Editor, Contributed to this story
Photos above by Shannon Kozak:
1. Faculty and staff look to chop each other out of the way to be the winning team in this years battle of the chefs faculty edition.
2. Dr. Dorene Huvaere, Department Chair of Secondary/Technology Education and Ms. Joan Williams, Director of Advising/ Certification Officer cut pears and put them into a skille
3. Brother Armand Alcazar, FSC, and Associate Professor Leslie Colonna work on part of their meal to be judged during the Battle of the Chefs competition.
Charlie’s Place was filled with food and fun Oct. 10 as faculty and staff took to the kitchen in the first annual “Faculty/Staff Battle of the Chefs” competition.
The event, sponsored by Sodexo and the Food Committee, was organized by Anthony DeRose, the Sodexo district marketing manager. The four teams had a challenging objective: create an appetizer, entrée and dessert in 90 minutes using the ingredients provided plus three mystery ingredients. The mystery ingredients were various cuts of beef, several varieties of squash and chocolate.
Once the teams finished and time expired, a panel of six judges evaluated the dishes. The judging panel included Sodexo Executive Chef Asa Brown, Sodexo General Manger Juan Perez, Sodexo District Manager Maureen Brown and Robert DeRose, senior vice president for business and finance. The two hosts of the event, seniors David Anderson and Anthony Lyen, critiqued the meals as well.
Pamela Jessee, interim dean and member of Team Two, entered the competition because of her love for cooking.
“We [Team Two] do a lot of cooking together, and we enjoy sharing recipes,” Jessee said. “We actually took a crepe class together, which inspired our appetizer.”
Throughout the evening,, Lyen and Anderson doubled as MCs, asking trivia questions to students dining at Charlie’s Place.
At the end of the night, one team came out on top. The team that took the prize was Team One, consisting of Brother Armand Alcazar of the theology department, Adam Setmeyer of University Ministry and Leslie Colonna of the Art department.
“The competition was tiring, but we had a ball with each other,” Alcazar said.
The winners received their choice of a $100 gift card to either the university bookstore or any eating establishment on campus. Each of the other teams received one $100 consolation gift card for their amazing efforts.
This marks the second Battle of the Chefs competition held at Lewis University. Last spring, a student edition of the event took place. Senior Michael Deimert was one of the participants in the event.
“Having been on a team for the Battle of the Chefs competition last semester, I think everyone should consider being part of it this year,” said Deimert, an air traffic control major. “It was a great experience working and collaborating to come up with the ultimate dish.”
Deimert is also part of the university’s Food Committee, which helped organize the Battle of the Chefs event. The committee meets with Sodexo weekly to discuss new ideas and improvements for campus dining.
While watching the event was enjoyable, Deimert is ready to get back to the competitive cooking. Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait until next semester to get his inner-Bobby Flay going. The second annual Student Battle of the Chefs will be back in Charlie’s sometime next spring, and all students are highly encouraged to get a team together and show of their cooking skills.