Also by Emily Ringler
We were split into three groups of four, and each group was presented with a market basket containing five ingredients. We were required to use all five ingredients, plus whatever pantry items that were available. We had five minutes to gather everything we might want to use; after the time was up, we could not return to the pantry. Then we had 30 minutes to make a composed dish. Each group had its own category: North Africa, Asia, or Europe. The items in the baskets were indigenous to the regions. We have spent the last seven weeks learning about different cultures and cuisines. This Chopped competition solidified what we have learned. We were judged not only by our Chef but also by our fellow peers. Grading was on taste, texture, presentation, our mise en place (basically how organized we were in our preparation), sanitation, and flavor profile. The hardest parts of the competition were the time restraints and the severity of the judging. The best part was the feeling of pride once the dish was presented. And also, being able to put our training to use. There were three winners, one from each region. Dan Wiginton won the European category with his chicken puttanesca, Rae Bednar won the Asian category with a chicken stir fry, and Desiree Hernandez won the North African category with her chicken chickpea tagine.