Yesterday night, the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Student Association Iron Chef competition began, unexpectedly, with an original rap to the instrumental of “Like a G6” delivered by Joshua C. Zhang ’14 and Eric Lu ’14. The rap set the stage for the irreverent tone of the evening, established the rules of the competition, and announced the prize: a $30 gift card to Finale.

The three teams participating in the Iron Chef competition were told a few days ago that they would have to make three dishes, including a dessert, that all had to utilize the secret ingredient: pineapple. During the day, each team camped out in a different Yard kitchen to make their dishes.

As the spectators ate free fried rice and lo mein from the Kong, the teams presented their dishes to the judges: Sue Brown, dean of Elm Yard; Jose Chang, a HUPD officer; and Katie W. Steele, director of freshman programming.

The first team to present was styled General Tao’s Army, and their dishes featured the pineapple not only as an ingredient, but also as a key decorative element of their presentation. The second team, which was from the Harvard Vietnamese Association, created dishes that mixed traditional Vietnamese food with French cuisine. The third team, which featured members of the CSA board, created meals inspired by food they had eaten at restaurants in China over the summer—including a pineapple upside-down cake coated in pineapple cream cheese frosting.

After sampling all the food, the judges announced their decision—the HVA team won the prize with a resounding victory. However, Steele was quick to add that she was very impressed by all the teams.

At the end of the night, Lu, who is a freshman representative to the CSA, said, “The event was a success. There was a good turnout and everyone had a lot of fun. We learned a little bit more about different cultures and their cooking styles.”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.