By Emma Lyons
Arts & Features Editor
The Framingham State Dining Services hosted the third “Dueling Dishes” challenge at the UCook station Sept. 22.
Two teams of students cooked a meal in 45 minutes incorporating the mystery ingredients: fennel and mango.
The teams were Team Alumni: senior fashion design and retailing major Malik Martin and sophomore psychology major Samira Sarkis, and Team Undergrad: senior hospitality management major Andy Thompson and sophomore biology major Neirmen Eldam.
The competition was judged by President Nancy Niemi, Vice President of Academic Enhancement Lorretta Holloway, Area Director of Corrine Hall Towers Shakira Rosado, and senior history and English major McKenzie Ward and international Mark Haskell.
The teams and judges were chosen through forms posted on the Dining Service’s social media pages.
“We started it back a few years ago, having it once a year, but we’re trying to have it every semester because we’ve had so many students want to do it,” Hanna McMahon, marketing coordinator for Framingham State Dining Services, said.
Team Undergrad made fried rice using curry powder, paprika, and fennel, along with a fried shrimp dish with cilantro and cumin. They served their dish with a salsa made with mangos, jalepeños, tomatoes, and onions as well as a salad.
Team Alumni made a spicy fruit salad, consisting of celery, mangoes, fresh fennel, strawberries, pineapples, and oranges. The sauce for the salad was made of hot sauce, honey, soy sauce, fennel, and rosemary. They served the fruit salad alongside a spinach salad and chicken breast seasoned with jerk seasoning.
After the judges tasted each dish and voted anonymously, McMahon and Executive Chef David LaFleur announced that Team Undergrad had won the competition.
“It’s definitely awesome. Definitely came into this a little nervous,” Thompson said.
Eldam said, “It feels really good to have won considering I did it last minute. I didn’t know I was doing this until today.”
Martin, who had been a part of the last two competitions, said he planned to continue participating in the event. “It’s a good way to practice cooking skills,” he said.
Sarkis said, “I had so much fun doing it.”
[Editor’s Note: McKenzie Ward is Opinions Editor for The Gatepost. Mark Haskell is a staff writer.]