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NDSU food competition brings fun, excitement

Published: 21 April 2014

Preparing a special dish can be both fun and challenging. Just ask a group of NDSU students who recently participated in a contest requiring ingenuity and secret ingredients.

“We mimicked the TV show, ‘Chopped,’ a chef competition that challenges the participants to creatively and quickly utilize limited secret ingredients to create an entrée, dessert or other dish,” explained Sherri Nordstrom Stastny, associate professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences. “It was a lot of fun.”

The competing teams were provided four secret ingredients that were revealed just before the competition began – avocado, sliced almonds, eggs and pancake/biscuit mix. Other ingredients were provided, but did not need to be used.

“What I most enjoyed about the competition was the energy and excitement from the teams as the competition was under way,” said Kaitlin Beck, a senior majoring in food science from Hawley, Minn., who helped organize the April 9 event. “Everyone had a great time and tried their best. This event opened a door for the participating majors to organize future events together.”

According to the rules, teams were given 45 minutes to complete their dish, and they were judged on taste, presentation and creativity.

The Food Science/Food Safety Club team produced the winning dish, which was a breakfast plate. Members of the winning team included food science majors Cassandra Hillen, a junior from Fargo; Amber Lindgren, a senior from St. Louis Park, Minn.; Alexander Prorok, a senior from Marshall, Minn.; and Nisa Tharayil, a senior from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. They were advised by Cliff Hall, associate professor of plant science.

“The plate included banana almond pancakes topped with honey; a bacon, tomato and green pepper omelet; and Nisa created a sweet avocado sauce that we decorated the plates with and topped with strawberries that added more flavor to the pancakes,” said Hillen, noting she hopes the competition becomes an annual event. “The avocado sauce was a total hit, which is what I think took the win for us. My favorite part was watching the look on the judges’ faces as they tried all the food, as we hadn't tried it prior to serving.”

The competition included three teams from the College of Human Development and Education and the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources.

A team of students studying dietetics included senior Kristine Borys from Lino Lakes, Minn.; senior Katie Iverson from Alexandria, Minn.; senior Brittney Meyer from Dickinson, N.D.; and junior Amber Clark from Nevis, Minn. They were advised by Stastny.

The hospitality and tourism management team included senior Lindsay Lundstrom from Fargo; senior Janik Mahlen from Eden Prairie, Minn.; sophomore Lindsey McMillan from Duluth, Minn.; and senior Emily Nielsen from Little Canada, Minn. The team’s adviser was Amelia Asperin, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism management.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private institutions by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


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Last Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014