GHS’s Iron Chef Competition Heats Up

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Thomas Reed, Contributing Writer

In the closing weeks of the school year, students are preparing for their final exams and reflecting on what they learned this school year. It can be a time of stress for some, and a time of relief for others. For those in Mr. Greenland’s classes – Culinary Skills & Procedures as well as Creative Foods – it’s time for the popular Iron Chef contest. Implemented in 2007, the Iron Chef contest is a project that serves as a test of culinary knowledge – “a project that [culminates] their semester’s learning, labs, and academic experience,” Mr. Greenland said.

The project is completed in four steps. First, the teams of students must brainstorm and prepare a menu. After doing this, they write a research paper using the menu, stating what ingredients are needed for each menu item, the history of the food on the menu, and presentation techniques appropriate for said food. The goal of this process is for the students to show they can create an appetizing assortment of food while understanding the culinary and historical background of the food.

After researching the food they will be creating, students order the ingredients on Hannaford’s website, being given one class to prep the food and another class to finish up. The completed dishes are then judged by three teachers, with the highest-scored food winning the honor of knowing their team was successful. “We have many judges that have judged frequently, such as Mr. Pare, Mr. Westphal, Mrs. Sargent, to name a few,” stated Mr. Greenland. “We thank all judges that have participated in judging over the many years.”

In the ten years of the competition’s history, the most creative dishes Mr. Greenland remembers were miso soup, a group of very authentic Chinese and Polynesian dishes, and sushi. Mr. Greenland says that he views them as more creative because of how these types of items are more out of the norm than the usual items created in Iron Chef.

For students taking Mr. Greenland’s culinary classes, the Iron Chef is certainly a unique experience that can bring out the best in any aspiring chef. For those desiring to become a better chef, it’s just one of the many reasons to take culinary classes here at Goffstown High School. If you want to partake in the fun of creating your own menu and food, then make sure to sign up for Culinary Skills & Procedures next year; you’ll be glad you did.