Holy Cross Students Compete for Iron Chef Title at UMass Amherst

On Saturday, Feb. 7 students from the College of the Holy Cross competed in the second Annual Inter-University Iron Chef Competition hosted by last year’s champions UMass Amherst. Gabriella Fletcher ’17, Mae Hougo ’18, Lance Madden ’18 and Matthew Whalen ’18 competed against teams from UMass Amherst, Yale University, McGill University (Canada), the University of New Hampshire and the University of Ottowa (Canada).

student mixing in the ktichen

The day kicked off with the Brownie Competition. Hougo, coached by Kathy Egan, dietitian at Holy Cross, entered a gluten-free chocolate brownie recipe topped with espresso whipped cream into the contest. This portion of the competition required students to prepare 120 additional portions of their recipe for the “People’s Choice” award which was voted on by the audience.


For the main event, teams were required to prepare two courses from a basket of ingredients. A  mystery ingredient was revealed the day of competition and it was local maple syrup. With the guidance of coach Marty Dudek, associate director of dining at Holy Cross, the team prepared an entirely gluten-free menu that featured two entrees.


The entrees included: sesame encrusted sautéed flounder marinated in coconut milk and fresh lime juice with gluten-free soy sauce served over wilted arugula and topped with shitake mushrooms; herb roasted chicken breast with maple-apple-cranberry chutney atop sweet and local potato twist, sauteed spinach and finished with a Parmesan crisp.


Yale University won the grand prize and McGill University won the both first place and the “People’s Choice” award.

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