Archive for May, 2009
Harry: I’m actually still not sure how or why me and Brad won that. I did taste the other guys’ food, which was incredibly gingery so maybe that’s what worked against them?
Brad: I think it was that and the fact that we were just better. Look at the presentation on our plate, it’s unBOWLieveable! There is an argument to say we should maybe being disqualified for dangerous cooking….?
Harry: The microwave. That was a big ooopps but it doesn’t matter no harm done.
Brad: The whole thing was a great laugh overall. Think it goes to show like cooking doesn’t need to be a chore – you can have fun with your mates while you’re cooking. Fair enough we’re not going to get a film crew and a crowd every time but still.
Harry: yeah you’re right. It did bring a lot of us together and that’s something that’s carried on since. Not a competitive edge to it, more just communal cooking really. Keeping each other company and share food and ideas and stuff. It’s good!
We first started planning International Cooking Competition as we thought it would be very facinating to find out how people in other countries cook and present their dishes. I told myself “It would definitely be very exciting and taste-rewarding”. And indeed, we had a very positive response from Loughborough’s International Students with lots of them eager to show off the best cuisine their country has to offer. We quickly got the teams signed up and the day of the competition was soon upon us!
On the day, the atmosphere in the kitchen was nervous, hyperactive and friendly. Contestants had to multitask, watching over their pans and pots as well as peeking what other countries were doing. Of course the best and at the same time the hardest part of the competition was the tasting and judging. It was evident that everyone and poured their patriotism into their work and done their best countires culinary pride, and every single meal was in its own way delightful and exotic. The true International Spirit or you may say flavour, could be felt in every meal and each one presented us we a new flavour we’d never tasted before.. Even though it was hard, we picked a winner and thankfully none of the contestants felt bad or upset!
Overall I think that during these two hectic hours, whilst running around the kitchen and asking fellow contestants for a spare egg or some cooking oil, people became good friends. The event was a great success and opened up a lot of peoples eyes to the huge exotic and exciting variety of food they’re able to cook.
Sara: Participating in the ISA cooking competition was one of my best experiences at Loughborough University. I was very excited when I found out that I was to be one of the competitors, but then I was told that we will have only 45 minutes to cook and it seemed impossible! However with the help of my housemate Annelore I planned to make carrot sauté (Fried grated carrots served with yogurt and garlic mixture) and spinach sauté (Steamed spinach with fried egg served with yogurt and garlic mixture) as a starter and, Tah-chin (Rice stuffed with chicken and lots of saffron with a special yogurt sauce) as the main dish. For dessert I thought a Shiraz salad which is a mixture of tomato, cucumber and onion with lemon juice and olive oil would catch someone’s attention. In truth is was too much for 45 minutes and I wasn’t sure that we could make it, but we planned for every 5 minutes and crossed our fingers!
I didn’t know until the day that the studentcooking team were coming along to film making it much more stressful (and more fun too!!). It was my first time cooking in such a big kitchen despite it being something I’d always wanted to do.
Soon the time to worry was over and the time started and we got cooking! My main memory was how incredibly hot it was in the kitchen, but who cared! It was the competition and we were too busy to complain about it! And just as quickly as it began - “3, 2, 1! Time is over!” and we downed tools. We were right on time, and to my surprise had managed to cook all the food we planned.
The hardest part however was yet to come…take the food to the judges! I was pleased with the food but that did nothing to calm my nerves. Shortly after this my hard worked had proved worthwhile when I heard Iranian cuisine was the winner!
As if the pride of being the winner wasn’t enough we also got chocolate, champagne and some Diners+ cards (all of which we suitably enjoyed!!!).