Wrapping up Edible Ed at OJA with Iron Chef Competition

 

On March 3, Orlando Junior Academy students wrapped up their Edible Education classes for the year with some fierce competition! Grades 6-8 competed in groups against their classmates for bragging rights and a catered lunch at our Kitchen House by K Restaurant.

6th Grade judges included: The owner of Olde Hearth Bread company Shannon Talty, the owner of Femme Du Fromage Cheese Shop Tonda Corrente Nazario, Leslie Ahonkhai of The Orange County Health Department, and William Blake, co-owner of The Rusty Spoon. The focus of their cooking classes this year has been about keeping their food safe while learning about the science of cooking. Guest judge Leslie kept students on their toes by asking them what precautions they were taking to ensure the safety and cleanliness of their food and workstation. The Iron Chef mystery bag was filled with milk and lemons to make ricotta cheese, tomatoes, basil, and fresh Olde Hearth Bread. The pressure was on as students made homemade cheese with Tonda of Femme Du Fromage Cheese Shop as a judge! The students impressed our judges by making fresh ricotta toast topped with bruschetta all within 30 minutes!

7th Grade Judges included: Food Writer for the Orlando Sentinel Lauren Delgado, Food Writer for Orlando Magazine Joseph Hayes, Chef/Owner of Ravenous Pig Julie Petrakis and The Teen Gourmet Food Blogger, Noah Michaud. This year's lessons were focused around literacy so having such distinguished Orlando food writers as judges was such a treat for us. The seventh graders completed a writing project this year about the Salt of the Earth and two students were asked to read their work. Evelyn and John read their fantastic essays with approval from our guest writer judges. The mystery bags for seventh grade included a recipe for Mediterranean quinoa salad and bean burgers with chipotle mayo.

8th Grade Judges Included: Food writer for Orlando Weekly Fayaiz Kara, Chef Owner of SOCO and Baoery Greg Richie, and our very own Chef Sarah Cahill. The 8th graders really impressed the judges by making fresh pasta and salad from our garden in 30 minutes! The mystery bags included recipes for pesto pasta and cacio e pepe. The criteria for judging was not only based on taste but teamwork, cleanliness, presentation, and planning.  The winning team did a fantastic job at making a delicious meal, keeping their workstation clean and most importantly, working as a team.

We are so proud of all of our Iron Chef contestants! They all worked extremely hard and were so enthusiastic. We are very thankful to our wonderful judges who volunteered their time and expertise. We would also like to thank Whole Foods Market for sponsoring our ingredients! What a truly amazing way to wrap up a fun year of learning!

A 6th Grade team with their final product: homemade ricotta toasts with tomato and basil

A 6th Grade team with their final product: homemade ricotta toasts with tomato and basil

A 7th Grade team with their bean burgers awaiting comments from the judges  

A 7th Grade team with their bean burgers awaiting comments from the judges

 

The winning 8th grade team with Chef Instructors Kevin Fonzo and Allyson Schurig

The winning 8th grade team with Chef Instructors Kevin Fonzo and Allyson Schurig

Our Iron Chef mystery bags filled with donated ingredients. Thank you Whole Foods Market!

Our Iron Chef mystery bags filled with donated ingredients. Thank you Whole Foods Market!