On Tuesday, March 27, MSU Culinary Services (CS) hosted the 2018 Student Spartan Chefs competition at Brody Square. Five teams of two competed in a Chopped-style cooking contest for the chance to win customized chef coats and bragging rights for their neighborhood or area.
Throughout the competition, Shawn Rawson, facilities supervisor for the MSU Union, and Becky Brewer, assistant director of outreach for Residence Education and Housing Services, served as emcees, engaging with judges, competitors and the audience.
Alan Wilkinson, MSU Concessions manager; Cheryl Berry, CS marketing and communications manager; and Robert DeRey, CS corporate kitchen professional aide, served as judges for the competition, scoring each team on presentation, overall flavor and creativity.
This year’s mystery basket of ingredients consisted of pork loin, broad bean paste with chili, Rice Krispies and cauliflower. In the first round, Team Fly from South Neighborhood (Faisal Faizu and Jamie), Team License to Grill from CS retail (Nathan Kamal and Dajuan Davis) and Team Salt and Pepper (Alexis Milliner and Lukas Laramee) took over the Pangea venue and Demonstration Kitchen, finishing up their plating just as time expired.
The final two groups, Team Shoot Your Shot from River Trail Neighborhood (Jamie Simmons and Meagan Powell) and Team Santiago Skizzles from Brody/North Neighborhoods (Ashlee Sanders and Tiago Laranja), crafted their dishes.
The winning team of this year’s event was Sanders and Laranja from Brody/North! They created a pork chop breading out of Rice Krispies, placed it on top of a sweet potato, carrot and cauliflower mash and paired it with a French vegetable salad and spring greens with sesame dressing.
Second place went to Simmons and Powell from River Trail and third place to Kamal and Davis from the retail area, who work with ON-THE-GO Food Truck.
CS is proud to host this annual event that allows student chefs to showcase their culinary skills. In addition to gaining experience with competing in a specified time frame, students have an opportunity to learn plating tips, work closely with executive chefs and sous chefs, and build creative dishes that incorporate a unique combination of ingredients.