“Chopped University,” a culinary competition based on the reality show “Chopped” sponsored by Troy University Dining Services, was held from Oct. 18-21 in the Troy Dining Hall.
Similar to the television series, four teams were provided with a variety of ingredients to construct an appetizer, entrée and dessert within a 45-minute time limit.
The provided ingredients were tortillas, ramen noodles, leftover doughnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken breast, peanut butter crackers, peaches, grapefruit, ricotta cheese, feta, Rice Krispies treats and M&MS.
Four teams competed in the competition: “Hot and Spicy,” with team members Sabrina Weinchreider and Meaghan Parker; “Chopped and Screwed,” with Mackenzie Kayles, Leah Andrews, Jacob Grant and Tony Chavez; “One K” with Stephanie Willis, Jasmyn Gray and Dearia Shanes; and “Crunchy Roll,” with Betsy Chisholm, Kasey Gossman, Nakaia Mays and Gerron Kent.
Judges of the competition included various staff members of the Troy University Dining Services such as Kim Hanaan, the retail manager of the Trojan Center, Brent Bookout, the human resources manager, Micheal Wonderly, the director of campus operations, and Brian Brown, the senior supervisor of the Dining Hall.
The teams had to prepare appetizers on Oct. 18, an entrée on Oct. 19 and a dessert on Oct. 21. After each round, a team was eliminated; the winner was announced on the final night.
“They (the teams) were very nervous because of the people who would be watching them, but they ended up having so much fun,” said Elizabeth Chisholm, the event coordinator from Panama City, Florida.
“They used a lot of unique ingredients and were creative with their dishes; no two dishes were the same.”
The team “Hot and Spicy” won the competition and was awarded a gift basket. In addition, a plaque with the team’s name and picture will be placed in the Dining Hall.
“We were very excited when the judges announced that we had won,” said Meaghan Parker, a freshman criminal justice major from Cullman. “Our competitors made amazing dishes, and we (the team) are both grateful for the opportunity.”
According to Sabrina Weinchreider, a freshman exercise science major from Lexington, North Carolina, the team prepared a salad for the appetizer round, Rice Krispies-encrusted chicken stir fry with soy sauce and grapefruit sauce for the entrée round, and ricotta cheese, peanut butter and M&M pancakes with a fried doughnut and ice cream scoop topping for the dessert round.
“We worked very well on a team together,” said Weinchreider.
Shelby Wood, a senior Spanish and social science education double major from Wewahitchka, Florida, attended the appetizer round of the event.
“As fans of the TV show, we were so excited to see students running around the dining hall looking for ingredients and trying to cook quickly,” said Wood.
This is the first time the event has been held, but Troy Dining Services plans to make it an annual event.