Middlebrook is Cooking up a Storm with the International Food Contest

Illeas, Staff Writer

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Ready! Set! Cook!

For as long as students can remember, Middlebrook has held the International Food Contest. In this contest, competitors from Middlebrook cook or bake food and bring it to school after busses are called. Teachers then judge the different dishes to figure out which dish is the best. The food is separated into three different categories: Appetizers, Main Dishes, and Desserts.  The judges then decide on a winner for each category using scoring criteria. 

Twenty years ago, world language teachers started and sponsored this school-wide competition. These original teachers who created the event may have now retired, but that hasn’t stopped the contest. It has continued and developed into the school attraction it is today.  

Students decide on the dish they may bring based on a country of their interest. For example, a person may make chicken souvlaki, a Greek food, to represent Greece. The foods represented at the contest come from all over the world. You may see one dish from the Mediterranean and then another from Latin America. With so many varieties, teachers often find it to be a struggle to declare a winner.

When judging the dishes, there are four rounds. For each round, judges go around testing and tasting the dishes. This year, and for the first time ever, Middlebrook staff judges will be joined by volunteers from around the town, including restaurant staff, our superintendent, and world language teachers from the Wilton High School and Cider Mill. Each dish is judged on presentation, texture, and taste. The dishes that score the highest in each category win.

Last year, the food competition took place on Wednesday, March 28th after school in the cafeteria- 162 kids competed; 37 made appetizers, 49 made main dishes, and 76 made desserts. The judges were staff members from the school district. First place winners won a $30 Tusk and Cup gift card, 2nd place winners got a $20 dollar gift card, and 3rd placers got $10 dollar gift cards. Last year the winners were:

APPETIZERS:

1st Place: Lauren Moe 6Y and Garrett Moe 8Y (Chicken Enchilada soup) Mexico

2nd Place: Riley Luchetta 8R and Mia Pepitone 8G (Cheesy Greek Swirls) Greece

3rd Place: Gavin Gargano 6G (Tuscan Bean Dip with crostini) Italy

MAIN DISHES:

1st Place: Rhea Pal 8Y and Emily Johnson 8Y (Japchae) South Korea

2nd Place: Sid Suneja 6Y and Jai Satsangi 6Y (Paneer, Rice and Paratha) India

3rd Place: Cece Lee 7G and Charlotte Nichols 7R (Coq au vin) France

DESSERTS:

1st Place: Marcos Flaim 6Y (Tres Leche Cake with berries) Nicaragua

2nd Place: Sadie Klyver 6Y and Daphne Mills 6G (Brigadeiro) Brazil

3rd Place: Cora Huff 6G  (Bird’s Milk Cake) Russia

This year the international food contest will be held on Thursday, March 28th after busses in the cafeteria. Parents, staff, and teachers have all helped organize this event. Students must cook the meal before they come to school and are not allowed to heat it up at school. Students will be able to sample the dishes once all four judging rounds have concluded. May the best cook and win!

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