by Veronica Ohl
A super fun cooking competition Iron Chef Brownies took place on Saturday, December 3 at our Hacienda Program Center and was a huge success. The event was for our 2nd and 3rd grade Brownies and consisted of Iron Chef bandana making, a cooking competition, food demonstrations, as well as an Iron Chef crowning ceremony. We had 24 girls and 4 registered volunteers attend as well as multiple troop leaders and parents stay to assist the girls. First, Brownies decorated an Iron Chef bandana with their name and were then split into 4 groups to brainstorm for the cooking competition. The secret ingredient was revealed and everyone was pleased to see multiple varieties of FRUIT to work with in order to create an appetizer, lunch dish, and a dessert. Each group had at least 2 adult volunteers to supervise while the girls cooked, cut, boiled and baked! Each group was provided with a toaster oven, hot plate and blender as well as tons of pots, pans and kitchen utensils.
Once the cooking was finished, the girls had to plate their dishes with care since the girls were judged on creativity, taste and presentation. The judges then went around to taste each dish while the girls described what they made and how they made it. The judges deliberated while all of the Brownies ate and sampled each other’s creations. The judges had a hard time deciding a winner because there were so many delicious options! Among some of the best dishes were twice baked macaroni and cheese, a ham and pineapple pizza, chocolate chip biscuits, a whoopee pie and a yummy apple banana smoothie. We were so impressed with not only the girl’s creativity but also with the teamwork and friendliness demonstrated by the Brownies in attendance, we also loved seeing how much fun the adults were having!
After everyone was full of delectable fruit inspired dishes, we watched a fun “Space Food” demonstration created by volunteer Johanna Teske. She described what is considered fresh food and what would be good food to bring into space. She had the girls guess with various foods what would be best for the astronauts. She then had everyone taste some freeze dried cantaloupe “space food,” so the girls could see what it would be like to eat in space! Then, another volunteer nutritionist Alisa Minear discussed nutrients and healthy parts of the foods we consume. She also talked about the importance of cleaning your hands and cleaning your food before eating. The girls played a game with her by guessing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in our most commonly consumed foods.
After the demonstrations, the girls were ready to find out who won Iron Chef Brownies! The judges called up each team and commended them for their best dish and handed out chef hat fun patches. Finally, the BLUE team was crowned IRON CHEF for their delicious creations, teamwork and creativity in presentation. The girls were thrilled to receive their Iron Chef tiaras and all of the Brownies were happy to receive a new patch. As everyone was getting ready to leave, we had numerous parents come up and express how much fun this event was. We overheard the girls saying how much fun they had and how happy they were that they came. Kelsey and I were filled with joy and relief to know that this event could not have gone any better!