Follow Me Foodie to the Girl Guides of Canada Iron Chef Competition
A recap of the West Coast Area Girl Guides Iron Chef Competition and their Halloween inspired menus.
I don’t want to be one of those girls that say “cute!!” over and over again, but I must have said it at least 50 times over 4 hours this day. I can’t deny it. I am one of those girls, and being here just brought it all out of me. I was honoured to be invited to guest judge the West Coast Area Girl Guides Iron Chef competition on October 27th at Woodward’s landing in Richmond, BC.
Girl Guides ages 8-12 gathered from all over Metro Vancouver to compete for the Iron Chef team title. Each group of 4-6 was asked to create a 3 course menu using a selection of secret ingredients provided that day.
There were only a limited amount of each item, so strategy was key. Each team took turns choosing 13 ingredients which would be used for the entire 3 course menu. There was also a pantry available with all the basic cooking needs like flour, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla extract etc.
The only cooking equipment was a camp stove and for many it was the first time cooking together. The secret requirement this year was that every dish had to have something red, and of course a healthy and nutritious theme was encouraged. In true Girl Guide spirit all this took place outdoors too. It was drizzling and at times pouring rain the entire 4 hours and these ladies really toughed it out.
The event was for fun, but if you know Girl Guides there is always an element of friendly competition. The girls pre-planned their menus and had to improvise on recipes if the ingredient was chosen before they could pick it.
I was so honoured to have the opportunity to judge along with Richard Rand from the Richmond Food Bank, and Dr. Greg Chang of Superchefs (who is a dentist, founder of Superchefs, chef, and hobby clown)… and he still does each actively! All together we sampled 3 courses from 20 teams which is 60 plates!
Anyways these girls really impressed us which made our jobs even tougher. Some of the dishes I would have never thought of and so many skills were involved in this competition. From basic knife skills to time management, the ability to take directions and also give them, it was a valuable experience for us both. It was so rewarding seeing these girls exercise their creative minds through food and cooking.
These are just some of the dishes from the 20 groups participating.
I would order this appetizer at a restaurant. Either these girls have parents who like to wine and dine, or they’ve been to a lot of adult picnics. I’ve never thought of making an avocado cream tapenade and they really got me thinking. The presentation and overall dish was very sophisticated especially for girls this age and I loved it.
This was from the same group who made the avocado cream tapenade with sun dried tomatoes and crackers appetizer. Their main course was another hit for me. I wanted the recipe and I kept going back to it for another bite. The cranberry cream sauce was great and it was like a healthy Thanksgiving in a bowl.
This was a really good dessert! Underneath the mound of oat crumble was a pile of fresh raspberries. The crumble was delicious though and I’ve never made a crumble with condensed milk, but it worked. I was surprised it wasn’t too sweet. These girls made the crumble on a stove top as well since there was no oven available. I was impressed.
I would want the recipe for these too. The peanut butter-oatmeal like cookies were baked on top of rice crackers which was different. I don’t even know how they “baked” these cookies on a stove top, but they tasted baked. The rice crackers gave it an extra crunch and I would have never thought of doing that. The pomegranate seeds were in efforts to put red on the plate and it was almost like peanut butter and jelly in theory. It inspired me to make a cinnamon spiced pomegranate jam and I was inspired by this dessert and of course the girls who made it.
Congratulations to all the girls who volunteered and participated in this unique Girl Guides of Canada event. I’m already looking forward to next year!