A few days ago Leb’s Ramblings featured the kick-off of College Days, a three day event where our senior village is split up into four days. Throughout the week the teams take each other on in a variety of events, mostly of the sporting variety. Over the past few years, however, several non-sporting events have been a part of College Days, events like a card tournament and the trivia challenge.
One of the non-sporting events has reigned supreme since College Days’ inception; the cook-off. In true Iron Chef style, each team gets a series of ingredients to prepare a meal for the cook-off judges. The biggest difference, however, is that the cook-off is all done over the open fire.
At the start of College Days, each team is given a list of ingredients. They then request what items from the list that they want. They have a choice of meat options, starches/carbs, vegetables, and so on. They also request spices and other sauces for their dishes. After quite a bit of behind the scenes work from cook-off coordinator Kim McCormack, the teams pick up their food and get to work.
Everything is taken into account. Teams are scored on the obvious things, like taste and presentation, but also on clean-up. Teams prepare appetizers, a main course and a dessert for our judges. Various chicken dishes are the most popular, with chicken parm at the top of the list. Over the years, teams have come up with elaborate items while others have settled for more basic but high quality burgers. Being a judge is quite an honor and there are many requests from our staff to sit on the panel. Some of you may be envisioning your son, a bunch of ingredients, a pan and a fire, and thinking the worst. The food is actually fantastic. While there is an occasional culinary creation that doesn’t cut the mustard, the majority of the time the food is great and the seniors have a ton of fun with it. This year was no different.
So for the parents of our seniors, we can attest that not only can your son help clean up after a meal, they can also help make it, too!