Ultimate Chef Night: riveting, competitive, delicious

On Jan. 26, Campus Auxiliary Services spiced up student life by holding its third annual Ultimate Chef Night at Letchworth Dining Hall.

The event showcased dishes featured on The Food Network, each located at different "stations" around the dining hall. Recipes ranged from chef Alton Brown's curry chicken pot pie to a chocolate chip cheese dip taken from southern belle superstar chef Paula Deen. The dishes were enjoyed by many of the diners; food trays had to be rotated constantly.

At each station, participants found new and interesting dishes. The grilling station offered Bobby Flay recipes like double cheddar burgers with grilled onions and horseradish mustard, Miami turkey burgers and a Cuban-inspired sandwich with pickles, Swiss cheese and ham. Other offerings included slow roasted beef brisket from "Iron Chef's" Michael Symon and a cherry couscous pudding, also from Brown.

The vegan counter showcased marsala mushroom ragout over rice with broccoli and a cauliflower gratin macaroni and cheese from Rachael Ray.

As patrons filed into the main dining hall with full trays, they discovered six more tables, each manned by a student chef. In the center of the tables, an announcer ran a competition to find the best dish.

Diners cast votes for their favorite of the six dishes; "kicker pierogis" took the prize. Diners also took surveys indicating their favorite dish and their favorite Food Network chef of the night.

"I want to really thank the students," said Executive CAS Chef Jonna Anne. "They make the event."

"I think it's great CAS is actively participating with the campus," freshman Emma Block said. "You'd never see tonight's turnout on a normal Wednesday night."

"I enjoyed seeing the chefs prepare the food," Block said. "My favorite part was the stacking of the food; it was intense!"

According to Anne, attendance has increased each year CAS has held the event, making it easy to deem this year's Ultimate Chef Night a prime cut of an evening.