From carrot ice cream to carrot hummus, sustainable student chefs battling in “Kitchen Stadium” last night concocted a range of seemingly questionable, yet delectable cuisine.
The quarterly Green Chef contest attracted 30 to 35 food enthusiasts who had a green cook-off with the “secret ingredient” of carrots. The aspiring Food Network stars, who prepared their dishes in advance, were judged in the categories of sustainability, taste, creativeness and visual appeal.
While Peter Bufete, a third-year UCSB student, reigned supreme in the taste category for his carrot and chickpea teriyaki stir-fry, Lillian Edwards, a third-year art and environmental studies major, out-greened the competition for the title of sustainability queen with her vegan carrot cake ice cream. Additionally, Megan Dawe, a second-year environmental studies major, was awarded most creative entrée for her handmade carrot jam while Michelle Gerigk, a third-year microbiology and business economics major, and Winny Mau, a third-year economics major, teamed up to win the most striking creation with their carrot barley soup served in bread bowls with flower-shaped carrot cutlets.
Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board Sustainable Foods Chair Amy Elvidge, a fourth-year environmental studies and Spanish major, said the contest gave students culinary insight as well as an opportunity to work with organic and locally grown ingredients.
“The chefs are also the judges themselves,” Elvidge said. “Through trying other people’s food, you can get new ideas. I remember last time we did squash and there were so many delicious dishes. I went home and recreated the ones that I really enjoyed.”
Each winner received a $25 gift card for the Isla Vista Food Co-Op, which was among the slew of local businesses — including the Farmer’s Market, Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Lazy Acres — that donated the coveted “secret ingredient” for the competition.
Alexa Layton, a fourth-year environmental studies major, made carrot pancakes with cinnamon honey butter and maple syrup.
“Everything is organic and vegetarian,” Layton said. “I’m using vegan butter and vegetable oil so everything is sustainable, animal friendly and hopefully delicious.”
Some of the carrot-based dishes created included spring rolls, cupcakes, cookies, fries, stir fry and soup.
Additionally, event coordinator Brooke Roehrick, a third-year communication major, highlighted the importance of sustainable eating.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than making something fresh right there and eating it,” Roehrick said. “You know what ingredients are going into it and you know what you’re putting into your body. It’s way better than eating food from a microwave.”
According to Layton, a recipe book will be distributed featuring all the dishes from the Green Chef competition.
“We are actually going to create a recipe book from all the recipes that were submitted so people can remake any recipes they tasted and really liked,” Layton said.