March Break Guide: Inter-Family Iron Chef Competition
We don’t know if you’ve ever seen an episode of Iron Chef America, but it’s kind of like watching two celebrated chefs completely lose their minds for an hour. They’re pitted against each other in a high-speed cooking battle based around a theme ingredient, with the ultimate goal of impressing a panel of judges. This family plans to recreate the TV experience in their own home, but without all the crazy stress and high-stakes competition. Well, maybe a dash of healthy competition. Onetime Iron Chef competitor David Adjey explains how to keep cool in the kitchen.
- CITY: Mississauga, Ontario
- OUR BUNCH: Rushmi, 39, CEO of JazmYn Customer Contact Solutions. Jeff, 38, CFO of Redishred. Natalie, 7, dramatic performer. Nicole, 2, spontaneous budding engineer.
This March break, between camps and daycare, we are surprising our girls with a family Iron Chef cookoff. We are inviting friends with kids over to our home to have the Ultimate Family Iron Chef. My husband and I thought that instead of hosting a traditional potluck family dinner that we try something exciting this year. After watching numerous Food Channel shows with our girls and spending lots of time cooking as a family, we thought it would be fun to put our family’s culinary skills to the test. We are inviting two other families to our home over a March Break weekend. Each family will bring ingredients to make their contribution to the dinner. Everyone is assigned a specific part of the meal (appetizers, entree and dessert). Then we will reveal a secret ingredient (onions) that has to make an appearance in each part of the meal. I am not looking forward to onion dessert. However, having all of us working in one kitchen with a timer will be exciting and exhilarating.
It will be a very chaotic and fun experience cooking with everyone in our kitchen, however, the end result of sharing a meal we all contributed to will be memorable for us all. Perhaps we will have to invite Chairman Kaga from the Iron Chef show to be our judge. Or better yet, we will invite the Bunch Family team to be our judges.
Guest Expert: David Adjey is a Canadian chef who took on Michael Symon on Iron Chef America, with sturgeon as the theme ingredient (gross). It resulted in a tie, which kind of almost makes him an Iron Chef champion. At least, he didn’t lose or anything. David says asking him how to get kids ready for an Iron Chef competition is kind of like asking him how to get kids ready for brain surgery. Nevertheless, he shared his top three tips with us.
1. Cook for the judges. You want to impress them and figure them out. Try to figure out their tastes and cook for that as well.
2. Pick jobs that are appropriate. Don’t give the youngest person the hardest job. The youngest person could be in charge of peeling vegetables or putting everything on the plate in a nice presentation.
3. On Iron Chef, you’re only allowed to go in with your water boiling. Nothing’s chopped, nothing’s cut. So you have to be really fast. The whole thing is you’re carrying your entire Rolodex of everything you’ve ever cooked inside your head, and you gotta pop them off.