By Tara Schmidt
Class of 2012
On a recent gray and otherwise dreary and drippy Sunday, the Unity Multicultural Education Center on Gonzaga’s campus hosted its first annual “Iron Chef GU: A Cultural Cooking Battle.” Thirteen cooks squared off before a panel of professional chefs and the voting public jointly decided the flavor they favored.
The People’s Favorite was Michael Dirkson, who received $75 in gift certificates to area restaurants. His dish, “Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich,” will be featured in the COG sometime this semester. The Chefs’ Favorite was Denise Flores, who received $100 cash for her “Desayuno Salvadoreno – Desayuno del Pobre,” which translated means (roughly) “Salvadoran Breakfast,” from El Salvador.
The Gonzaga community members cooked dishes from eight different countries and cultures for the competition, which took place on the main floor of the Crosby Student Center. The most common nation of origin was the United States, but recipes were entered and shared from El Salvador, Japan, Kenya, Russia, the Philippines, Germany and Mexico.
Tracy Ellis-Ward, UMEC director, hopes this event tops itself each year. “Next year we want it to be bigger and better,” Ellis-Ward said.
Whitney Urritia of UMEC said, “It was a great opportunity for the Gonzaga community to share and learn about the many different cultures here and also a chance for the participants to show off a bit of their cooking talent!”
Following is a list of the GU community members and their dishes for the event.
|Megan Oshiro||Chi Chi Dango||Japan|
|Sage Stargrove||Quick-as-can-be Coconut Crème Cheesecake||United States|
|Sr. Leonida Nasimiyu Wasfula||Ugali served with Sokumawiki||Kenya|
|Michael Ryall||Cajun Shrimp Etoufee||United States|
|Denise Flores||Desayuno Salvadoreno/Desayuno del Pobre
|Bob Wong||Chicken Gone Wild||United States|
|Laura Fabiola Watts||Cream Cheese Appetizer/Pastel Azteca/Aptelkuchle||Mexico and Germany|
|Dane Pavlik||Laguna Beach Balls||United States|
|Jonathan Mora||Ceviche||Latin American|
|Brandon Yost||Pork Osso Buco with Rice Pilaf|
|Andrew Lawson||Beef Stroganoff||Russia|
|Michael Dirkson||Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich||United States|