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Cooks will clash in third annual Iron Chef competition
pitman iron chef
The Prides Issac Delgado puts the final touches on desserts as Ashleigh Phelps looks on. The Pitman culinary team upset Turlock High School in the 2015 Iron Chef. - photo by Journal file photo

It’s a common sight to see the Turlock High School Bulldogs and Pitman High School Pride engaged in fierce competition on the sports field, but the rivalry is bound to heat up in a different arena when the Turlock Education Foundation hosts its third annual Iron Chef Competition on April 22.

Students from both Turlock and Pitman’s culinary arts programs will be pitted against each other in a head-to-head battle to see whose dish will reign supreme. Each team consists of four students and the principal from each site.  They will prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert, all showcasing the exotic ingredients and tongue-tingling flavors found in Indian cuisine, which is this year’s competition theme. Chef Mohini Singh of Mohini Indian Fusions volunteered to help students in the program learn Indian cooking techniques for the upcoming competition, according to TEF President Barney Gordon.

As around 350 guests are expected for the program, being held in the Main Dining Hall at Stanislaus State, each team will prepare enough food for the judges and those who attend the competition will be served a meal catered by Chartwell’s Dining Services. Entertainment from PHS band students will be provided and during the competition, center pieces created by the ornamental horticulture programs from each school will be raffled off.  Gordon hopes that local businesses will donate items to the raffle as well by April 18.

“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase some of the programs that many folks might not know about,” said Gordon.

Individual tickets to the competition are available for $40 each and can be purchased at Turlock Adult School, PHS, THS, Julien Elementary, Dutcher Middle School and Walnut Elementary. Tickets may also be purchased online and will be available for pickup in will-call. Reserved tables for eight can be purchased through a $500 Silver sponsorship, but there are also other sponsorships available.

Those interested in sponsoring the Iron Chef Competition have the option of purchasing a $5,000 Event sponsorship, a $2,500 Platinum sponsorship, a $1,000 Gold sponsorship or the $500 Silver sponsorship. Information regarding each sponsorship and their acknowledgments is provided on the TEF website.

All proceeds from the competition will go toward enhancing and enriching the educational experience of TUSD students through classroom grants, district musical instrument replacements and repairs and transportation grants.

The event begins with a hosted happy hour at 6 p.m., followed by the program and dinner at 7 p.m. To buy tickets, sponsor the event or donate raffle items, visit