SUPB once again held a Food Network inspired event. On Saturday, Jan. 23, SUPB’s event “Chopped” took over the Schott Dining Hall.
Sophomore Elizabeth Poston hosted the competition, while sophomore Steven Schmitz served as the emcee, entertaining the audience throughout the event with rounds of food trivia, mini competitions and dance-offs.
Judge and Director of Orientation and Leadership programs Kyle O’Dell, jokingly warned the contestants, “Do not use bananas, or you’ll go home very fast.” Other judges were Administrative Assistant Janet Paradise and Associate Professor of Economics Andrew Welki.
Many students entered the raffle, where contestants for the “Chopped” competition would be selected randomly.
Freshman Laura Shodick said beforehand, “I am so excited. I love the show and hope the competitors bring the same atmosphere the show does. I am big fan of ‘Chopped’.”
The paired contestants for the competition were sophomores Rita Hanna and Megan Katz, sophomores Lauren Shirley and Mberry Seck, sophomores Megan Koperna and K.C. Esper and senior Chris Shahen and sophomore Silvio Islamaj.
Similar to the Food Network series, contestants had to compete in three main rounds: appetizer, entrée and dessert.
For the first round, Koperna and Esper prepared red pepper fritter with a French onion dip while Shahen and Islamaj prepared potatoes with sour cream.
Ironically, both Seck and Shirley, and Katz and Hanna, prepared scrambled eggs with vegetables. Paradise praised the appetizers as “very delicious.”
Shahen and Islamaj said they were “very confident” they were going to win. Yet, they were the first team to be “chopped.” After the team was eliminated, a large portion of the audience left the event. Shahen and Islamaj confidently responded with, “We will come back next year.”
Once the second round began, Paradise said, “We have three teams that are hard at work right now. I expect wonderful recipes coming out of them, and I am excited to be here.”
For the second round, the entrée, the competition started to heat up.
Hanna and Katz cooked Oreo crusted pork with rice and vegetables. Seck and Shirley cooked Oreo stuffed chicken with chipotle summer pasta. The second pair that got chopped was Koperna and Esper, who cooked Oreo crusted chicken with rice.
For the third round, the dessert, Seck and Shirley prepared crepes with fried potatoes in cinnamon and sugar, paired with yogurt and fruit. Hanna and Katz prepared sautéed fried apples with potato chips and caramel.
The winners, Seck and Shirley, seemed surprised to win. They didn’t plan on entering the competition, but happened to run into each other when arriving at the event.
The duo said, “Winning is pretty cool. Our best dish that the judges liked was our most unique entrée. We were surprised that Megan and K.C. were chopped off in the second round. Our biggest challenges were time, the heat from the kitchen and figuring out what to cook in a short amount of time. This is the most exciting thing that happened to us.”
The runner-up team of Hanna and Katz didn’t walk away empty-handed. They were given a mini prize for their accomplishments.
Seck and Shirley, who showed off their culinary skills and teamwork, came out on top as “Chopped” champions who each won a Magic Bullet and a $25 gift card to The Cheesecake Factory.
SUPB’s secretary, freshman Mckenna Cordier, said, “The winners deserve the championship because they were very creative and cooked dishes that all the judges really liked.”
Hanna and Katz said, “It was good to participate in the event and cook together. We did not set anything on fire, and we worked as good teammates.”