Culinary competition brings the sizzle to Homecoming

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October 21, 2016
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October 28, 2016

Culinary competition brings the sizzle to Homecoming

Do you love food? Are you someone who would love to sit at home watching cooking shows rather than sitting in class and doing homework? If so, you may want to check out the Culinary Challenge taking place Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. in Stratton Hall.

The Culinary Challenge will be an Iron Chef-like cooking competition filmed by
WBJU-TV.

According to sources in the Culinary Arts Department, two chefs will compete to prepare four dishes for a panel of judges.

Robert Hansen, a chef from the Culinary Arts Department and one of the two contestants, said the competition is a new concept created for homecoming weekend.

Hansen said the event will replace the food truck that culinary arts students had during last year’s homecoming.

Hansen said Stratton Hall was selected as the venue for the event to ensure that students, faculty and alumni could witness the show live.

Since Stratton Hall has no kitchen, Hansen said the competitors will be using the induction cooking method, which uses magnetism instead of flame.

Hansen said the process of converting Stratton Hall into a culinary venue has been challenging.

“We had to go through the fire marshal,” Hansen said. “And we had to go through all these different hoops to make sure it was feasible.”

Hansen said the stage crew, as well as electrical and plumbing professionals, have all been involved in the conversion process, even installing a sink backstage for the competition.

Hansen said because the challenge requires signicant culinary experience and preparation time, the competitors are experienced chefs.

Christine Mansfield, a BJU graduate and a chef at the Lazy Goat in Greenville, will challenge Chef Hansen in the event.

Both chefs will be assisted by two sous chefs who are also associated with BJU.

One sous chef on each side will be a culinary arts department graduate working on a bachelor’s degree, and the other sous chef on each side will be a student currently studying in the culinary arts department.

Hansen said he wants students to see what their culinary arts peers are doing.

Journalism and mass communication students will also showcase their skills in webcasting the event.

Hansen said the broadcast will require a producer to conduct transitions and movements professionally.

The journalism and mass communication students will perform audio and video recording tasks to broadcast the event live for audiences online.

“It would be boring to watch someone chopping onions for 25 minutes,” Hansen said. “So we need to have some breaking up of that time.”

Hansen said to break up airtime, the chefs and sous chefs will be interviewed about the dishes.

Kathryn Gamet, professor in the journalism and mass communication department, said the students have created a lot of video content for the Culinary Challenge.

The journalism students recorded both chefs describing the four dishes to be made—appetizer, entrée one, entrée two and dessert—along with practice sessions, prep work and the final dishes.

“They have edited together short videos (almost like a Tasty video on Facebook) of each dish,” Gamet said. “These dishes will be shown when the chefs present their dishes to the judges.”

Hansen said the event will not be just like watching Iron Chef on television, but both the culinary arts and journalism and mass communication departments are putting in a great deal of time and effort to make the culinary challenge a success.