IRHS Annual Iron Chef Competition Crowns New Winners


Ross Phalen

L to R: Torin McCranie, Katlin Bacon, Quentin Adams, and Seth Fikes in mid-production of their puff pastry entree.

Quentin Adams and Aron Wirrik

On November 7th, 2019, the annual Iron Chef competition was held, with this year’s required ingredient being puffed pastry. There were four teams that participated, all of which cooked and baked with skill and determination. The winning team, The Flaming Pastries, made a pastry that contained broccoli, Swiss cheese, ham, and mushrooms.

The Flaming Pastries 4-person team had met up for a test of their recipe earlier in the week on Tuesday. They went with an entree rather than a dessert, to illustrate flexibility with the pastry ingredient. After taste testing the result of that product themselves, they had learned what they needed to do better and improved their recipe during the competition. As a result of the training from Tuesday the team had a system and specific roles for each person. The competition however, had not practiced their recipes and did not have as much organization going into the competition.

When all four members had finished their prep it was time to put their mixture into the pastry. In order to achieve this goal they set up an assembly line that Henry Ford would have been proud of, and went to work. The first person in line, Seth Fikes, was the person who rolled out the pastries so that they would be large enough to hold the mix that would be put inside. The next person Fikes handed those rolled pastries to was this intrepid reporter, Quentin Adams, who used beaten eggs to paint the edges of the pastry, so they held together in the oven. Adams then handed those painted pastries to Katlin Bacon, who put the mixture onto the pastry. Bacon then handed the almost complete pastry to Torin McCranie, who wrapped up the pastries and organized them on the pan that would eventually sit in the oven for close to 15 minutes. 

During the time that the pastries baked in the oven, the contestants, with 17 minutes to spare started the cleaning process, as the cleanliness of their station was a requirement of the competition rules. After cleaning up, The Flaming Pastries prepared the plates that would soon hold their hopes, and then be judged by a group of Indian River staff members. 

Yeah, you may have heard about the faculty team that joined the fray this year, calling themselves “The English Muffins” – being composed of three English teachers (Ms. Wittbrodt, Ms. Burt, and Ms. Ada) while their secret weapon Mr. Maphey wore an apron bearing the title “Stud Muffin.” Mr. Maphey claims he did not make this item himself, and Ms. Ada took credit for that and the team name. They produced an apple tarte tartin.

The judges included Ms. Turnbull, Ms. Decker, and IRHS principal Mr. Moore, as well as the event’s gracious host, Mrs. Elcsisin. Mrs. “L” as she is known by students made the whole thing possible.

After all of the groups had been judged, each having produced pastries that were exquisite and smelled amazing, the judges left to deliberate, when they came back in roughly 5 minutes later, the verdict was delivered. All of the contestants had done well, they said, and it was a tough call, but the judges felt that The Flaming Pastries had a dish that came together better than the rest. With that, the Flaming Pastries were crowned the Iron Chefs of Indian River for the 2019-2020 school year.