The Anne Arundel Community College second annual Iron Chef Competition sent two teams of three students scrambling this year to prepare a three-course meal incorporating an unusual secret ingredient – cucumber – that was revealed just as the contest got under way.
The students are members of the college Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute (HCAT). Participating for Team One was Chris Galanakis of Pasadena, Kate Quinn of Huntington in Calvert County and Chris Willis of Annapolis. Team Two members were Darlene Proctor of Windsor Mill in Baltimore County, Matt Reed of Timonium in Baltimore County and Heather Tompkins of Severn.
Team One prepared a Cold Cucumber Soup with Aqua Fresca Drink appetizer followed by an entrée of Seared Rockfish with Lemon Ginger Brown Rice, Soy Honey Glaze, Mint Tzaki Sauce and Pickled Cucumber Salad. Dessert featured a Mint Cucumber Sorbet with Mango Pineapple Salad on top of a Mango Puree and Citrus Shortbread Cookie.
Team Two created a Tuna Tartar with Ahi Tuna and Cucumber Sushi as an appetizer followed by an entrée of Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Southwest Bean Puree served with Seared Polenta Cake and Warm Mango, Cucumber and Red Pepper Slaw. For dessert, the team created a Cucumber Savory Sorbet with Mango and Compressed Honeydew Salad and Sweet Cucumber Cake with Mascarpone Mousse and Melon Sabayon.
Judging the competition were Chef Monique Williams, AACC’s chef instructor for Job Corps programs; AACC chef’s assistant Michael Plitt and HCAT student Nicole Mullins of Elkridge in Howard County.
“Both teams did a stellar job, and the competition was very close,” said David Ludwig, HCAT instructional specialist. “In the end, Team Two squeezed by with the win!”