MAY 9—The Dalton School was the winner in the first Flik Invitational Cook-Off event in New York City. Dalton competed against teams from the Trinity School and Grace Church School. All three schools have contracted with Flik Independent Dining to provide their foodservice.
Each school’s team consisted of 11 student team members and the executive chef at the school. The teams had 45 minutes and $85 to create a three-course meal, which consisted of one cold appetizer, one hot entrée and one cold dessert.
Each school decided how the student team members were selected. Some schools had culinary clubs from which they selected participants. According to Leon Stallone, executive chef at the Dalton School, the members for his team were selected from a lottery. The students worked with their executive chef for five or six weeks prior to the cook-off. The menu at the Dalton School was created by Stallone after taking suggestions from the students. “I asked the students to write down their favorite appetizer, entrée and dessert,” he said. “I took the lists and from there created the menu we would make.” Stallone said many of the students said similar items. One similarity was a burger for the entrée. The Dalton team’s entrée was Turkey Crunch Burger Sliders.
The rest of the Dalton menu was a Cold Avocado Soup with Roasted Corn and Cilantro; the sliders were served with “Hasselback” Potato, Health Slaw and a Homemade Pickle served with a Low-fat Banilla Frosty; and a Strawberry Tiramisu Cone.
Trinity School’s menu comprised Crab and Avocado Salad with Roasted Poblano Peppers, Plantain Chips, Micro Cilantro and Chipotle Oil; Oven Roasted Stuffed Chicken Breast with Grilled Vegetables and Goat Cheese, Fresh Herb Polenta Cake and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis; and Strawberry Panna Cotta with Fruit Compote.
Grace Church School’s consisted of Local Spring Asparagus Gazpacho; Local Black Sea Bass with Mediterranean Salsa over Wilted Greens; and Orange-Scented Zabaglione Custard made with Local Eggs, served with Fresh Berries.
The event was emceed by Michael Lomonaco, executive chef and managing partner of Porter House New York at the Time Warner Center in New York City. Lomonaco said, "Once kids get closer to the raw ingredients and the food preparation, they understand where food comes from. When you give students the opportunity to be creative they are able to come up with great ideas.”
Lomonaco added that events like the cook-off were important to show the positive side of school foodservice. “Not all school food is bad food,” he said. “It’s a balance between providing what the guests, in this case the students, want and what the provider, whether that is mom or a foodservice provider, wants the students to eat. This event provides an opportunity for young people to learn about flavorful, fresh and nutritious food.”
In addition to being a fun event for the students, $5,200 was raised for Spoons Across America, a not-for-profit organization that provides culinary education for students, teachers and parents.
To see photos from the event, visit our Facebook page here.