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  • Zach Hayden

Iron Chef- Citrus Extravaganza

On March 23rd, 2017, five teams of chefs entered Kitchen Stadium (a.k.a Opatrny Dining hall) to compete in the Citrus Maxima edition of Oxford's Iron Chef. Chairman Zack Hayden reviewed the ground rules (30 minutes to prep, cook, and plate, etc.) and revealed the 5 secret ingredients: Pomelo (citrus maximus), coffee beans, thin sliced pork chops, whole coconut, and yellow corn meal. Contestants were informed that they must use at least 4 of the 5 secret ingredients. Teams seemed to eye the coconut and coffee beans with trepidation, whereas the giant grapefruit-like pomelo and pork chops were used by all. All teams were given the option of trying to crack and drain the coconut early to lessen the likelihood of injury.


As Mr. Maragliano's team looked to be first to take up knives, he was informed that there was no water in his home. Undeterred, he set out for Hill House with chefs Greene and Eisaman. This last minute hiccup also disturbed Mr. Pachniuk's plans, but with an assist from Mr. Braverman, Team VanPraag-Pachniuk occupied a Davis kitchen and got to work. Teams Monroy-Russo-Pasternak and Pelletier-Huang-Curtice shared the kitchen while Switaj-Tangborn retreated to another Davis apartment.


Every team showed creative and tasty talent, shared in this very incomplete list:


• Maragliano, Eisaman, Greene

- Nicely cooked rice, clever coffee dusted coconut shards, refreshing coconut- laced pomelo shot


• Monroy, Russo, Pasternak

- Flavorful cornmeal tortilla, tender pork, strong coconut notes in sauce


• Pelletier, Curtice, Huang

- succulent cornmeal patties and delicate flavor forward pork strands


• Switaj, Tangbom

- Elegant plating, delicate honey-pomelo dressing, refined breading and presentation of pork


• Pachniuk, VanPraag

- Aggressive coffee-mounting of their pork, a brazenly spicy cornmeal side, elegantly plated pomelo


Keeping the whole conception-serving process down to thirty minutes was a serious challenge, but all groups were able to serve punctually plated dishes to our three judges: Mr. McGrath, Mrs. Sorenson, and Mrs. Stratidis. The judges were impressed with the variety, execution, and creativity of the dishes and nibbled and belched their way through five diverse plates. Once the final team's dish was consumed, the judges spent a good 10 minutes deliberating, calculating, and arguing.



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