Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Colin Smith Staff Writer
This Monday evening I approached Hoben lounge holding a ceramic plate, a fork, and an orange ticket in my hand. I listened to Radiohead playing from an iHome and I shuffled my way to the butternut squash mac & cheese with a morsel of bacon.
I walked counter-clockwise around the circle of tables and sampled pumpkin bread with glaze and Oktoberfest pork shank on top of garlic potatoes. After eating a spicy dish of pasta with tripe, I needed something cool, and something fast. Luckily I always leave room for dessert, so I grabbed a square of apple spice cake topped with pumpkin ice cream.
Student organization, Farms to K hosted the event. Kalamazoo College students cooked and baked this bounty of food in a cook-off competition. Eight teams participated in the event. Each team cooked a dish in either the sweet or savory category. A panel of judges chose the best meals in each category and cook-off attendees voted on one dish in each category for a “People’s Choice” award.
Monday’s cook-off was first ever fall competition for Farms to K . Farms to K leader Katherine Rapin ’15 said that last year’s spring cook-off was so successful that Farms to K decided to host another cook-off in the fall when it’s easier to buy local produce. According to Rapin, ingredients are more readily available in the fall.
The judges based their decisions on the amount of local food in each dish, creativity levels and taste. Cook-off judges included Food Dance Executive Chef Robb Hammond, People’s Food Co-op Deli Chef Stephanie Lenhart, and Kalamazoo College alumnus and “Organic Gypsy” food truck owner, Bridgett Blough.
As I waited in line for food, Alicia Pettys ’13 uncovered the judge’s choice for “Best Savory Dish,” a butternut squash and black bean chili served out of a pumpkin. The people’s choice for “Most Savory Food” was the sweet potato burrito crafted by Annie Gough ‘15. The apple spice cake and pumpkin ice cream by Alice Bowe ’13 and Carl Washburn ’13 won the “Best Sweet Dish” by the judges. Kacey Cook ’15 won the people’s choice for “Most Sweet Food” with her pumpkin cake.
The cook off was a “cool event,” Gough said, “it’s an opportunity to go to the farmer’s market.” Gough said her co-chefs had never been to the market before they shopped there for the cook-off. Farms to K is expected to host another cook-off during Spring Quarter.