Santropol Iron Chef Fundraiser

Crudessance knocks out the competition at the Iron Chef Cook Off Fundraiser

By Carl Perks

The words ‘‘À vos marques, prêt, partez !’’ launched the Iron Chef Cook Off contestants around 5 p.m. last Thursday on the McGill rooftop garden to look for vegetables for their conjured delicacies.
The roster for this culinary challenge consisted of six teams of cooks representing Montreal restaurants such as Crudessance, Fushia, Lola Rossa, Serafim, Chef Nicolas and the Santropol house chefs. Each had one hour to search through the garden that is brought to the university by the McGill Sustainable Project Fund and prepare a meal that would be tasted and rated by a panel of judges.

The event was held as a fundraiser for Santropol Roulant, a meals on wheels organization at McGill that delivers around 100 customized vegetarian meals five days a week. The foundation hired students to serve free vegan stew, corn and apple crumble. Donations were accepted and beer was sold, but the meals were complimentary thanks to Campus Crops.

The crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy the costless meal: ‘‘The flavour in a regular soup comes from the stock, this soup is vegan so they can’t use any. This is a very flavourful soup despite there being no stock.’’ said Madelaine Dobson, a student at McGill. Maggie Knight, another McGill student commented on the smell of the food. ‘‘It’s so rich you can almost taste it,’’ Knight said.

As the cooks where preparing their meals, truth or dare sessions were held and various jokes where told while food and beer was served. Once an hour had passed, David Simard, a talented Montreal-based folk singer, played a set as the judges sampled and ranked the meals. As the young songwriter began singing a song entitled Streetlight Strut, precipitation began along to the apt lyrics: ‘‘Raindrops they fall down slow.’’

Once the judges had bestowed judgement on the restaurants’ preparations, they named Lola Rosa as winners of the Fun Raiser award imparted to the team that brought the most rejoice to the event. They then proceeded in appointing Crudessance as the official Iron Chef winner, giving them a Iron Chef cup and an Alternative Garden container along with the Santropol tee-shirt that every contestant received.

‘‘We are really happy’’ said the Crudessance cooks shortly after winning. They were chosen for their creativity, essence and the taste of their highly ornamented Cannelloni salad along with a tomato stuffed with fennel and zucchini spaghetti, all served with a cream of acajou. Once the cook off had ended, Pat Jordache played a faster paced set and the party shifted to Blizzarts for the after-party.

You can taste the winning meal at Crudessance on 2157 Mackay street and you can listen to the music of David Simard and Pat Jordache at http://www.myspace.com/davidsimardmusic and http://www.myspace.com/mountainmanpatjordache.

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