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Pitman clubs mix it up in cook-off competition
Gay/Straight Alliance members work together to make their traditional pan-roasted chicken breast with an almond potato puff and an almond butter brownie. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
Pitman Club Cook Off Winners
• 1st place,  Art Club; Menu: Phyllo basket, Grecian pasta and chocolate almond butter fudge
• 2nd place, FHA-HERO; Menu: Cream cheese log with almond butter, Spanish chicken with rice pilaf and almond butter cookie sandwich with almond ice cream
• 3rd place, FFA Club; Menu: Cream cheese bruschetta, lamb and cream bread potatoes and berry soufflé
With a little bit of sugar and a little bit of spice, six clubs from Pitman High School battled it out in the kitchen on Wednesday to earn the title of Iron Chef.
Students from the FHA-HERO club, Hispanic Youth Leadership Council, Gay Straight Alliance, the Art Club, the Photo Club and FFA all gathered in the home economics classroom to put together a winning meal.  
Each team had to cook up an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert using the secret ingredients of almonds, almond butter and cream cheese in any of the dishes.
The Art Club took first place with their phyllo basket for their appetizer, Grecian pasta for their main dish and a chocolate almond butter fudge to top it all off for dessert. They won $150 to put toward their club funds.
FHA-HERO took second place with their cream cheese log with almond butter appetizer, Spanish chicken and rice pilaf for their entrée and their almond butter cookie sandwich with chocolate almond ice cream as their dessert. They forfeited their winnings of a cash prize.  
Third place winner was the FFA club, who earned $100 to use for their club, with a cream cheese bruschetta for their appetizer, lamb and cream bread potatoes for their entrée and berry soufflé for dessert.
The other clubs cooked a variety dishes ranging from chicken salad to a pan-roasted chicken breast.
All clubs were judged on their originality through the use of the secret ingredient, selection of recipe and selection of their theme. They were also judged on their plating by the natural/appetizing appearance, creative arrangement and garnish. Lastly, they were judged on taste and variety by contrast/variety/shape/texture/color, pleasant flavors and complimentary sauces. They were judged by Blue Diamond Growers representative Bob Kiss, Pitman teacher Steven Montgomery and Turlock Unified School District Trustee Josh Bernard.
The third annual Iron Chef cook off between clubs was hosted by FHA-HERO, which is a leadership organization for students in home economics. The club puts on the cook off competition every year to foster interaction between clubs on campus through FHA-HERO’s specialty — food.
Pitman’s FHA-HERO club will be attending the 2010 State Leadership Meeting on April 24 to compete in multiple events such as menu planning and table display, culinary arts, commercial food preparation, creed recitation, salad preparation and prepared speech. They will also be honored as a State Superior Chapter Gold Medal winner.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.