The African Students Association here at Calvin College hosts an event at the end of the semester called Iron Chef. It's a cooking competition where groups of three to four contestants team up to cook a traditional dish of their choice. They get an hour and a half to cook, with ingredients of their choice, after which they are judged by three people, two of whom are randomly chosen from the audience. The dishes prepared are judged out of five for presentation and taste.
This year, there were five teams: three West African and two East African.
The first group called "Think Far," made up of three boys - Edem, Addottey and Freddy - made a dish called assorted Jollof, which was garnished Jollof rice and a salad made with mayo, baked beans, corned beef and lettuce.
The second group, called "Boss Choppers," made up of three Ghanaian girls - Ewuraesi, Arielle and Charlotte - made a local dish called Groundnut soup, accompanied by rice balls, meat and tilapia, african doughnuts and a smoothie with a cherry on top - literally! It was such a lovely sight - the food I mean.
The third group, "Finger Licking," went on to make a local West African dish of garnished fried rice, kelewele - spiced plantain, and "mean" oven baked chicken. The group consisted of Becky, Emmanuel and Kwame.
The fourth group, "Hot Peppers," was a West African and two East Africans, who came together to try to make a different dish called Ndole and plantain. It was a soup/paste type thing, made with peanut paste and spinach, garnished with shrimp and served with fried plantains on the side. With this peculiar dish won the judges' favor and took home a gift basket with with a whole lot of goodies!
The last, but not the least group was made up of four East Africans. This group, called "Mama Chiku's," made a variety of foods, from Samosas, to rice, to kebab (barbequed meat on a stick) and finally meat sauce. All vegetarian unfriendly, but I must say was delicious enough for them to win second place!
I must say, it was a lot of fun watching the contestants get down in the kitchen and hustle around trying to finish preparing their scrumptious (I don't know why, but I like that word - it's cheesy) meals! What a way to wrap up the events for the semester.