Battling for students’ top pick

Dining hall hosts annual Battle of the Chefs

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Photo Courtesy of Muhlenberg Dining.

As the chairman in Iron Chef always says, “Allez Cuisine!” On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Muhlenberg hosted the chefs from four other colleges and universities in the Lehigh Valley: Moravian College, Lehigh University, Northampton Community College and DeSales University for the 5th annual Battle of the Chefs,

It was lights, camera, action at 4:30 p.m., when the Wood Dining Commons re-opened to transform into the set of five different movies, as the chefs from each school created film-themed menus. The event was “directed” by Executive Chef Ross Wilson.

Each station in the dining hall was decorated to match a different flick. Northampton turned Chew Street Deli into Agrabah from the movie Aladdin, serving Tandoori chicken with white rice and masala chai brownies. With a short line, many students took the opportunity to try out the station’s food. Alexa Singman ‘22 shared, “It was the shortest line, so I decided to get in line there and try their food while I waited in line for the other stations. It wasn’t my favorite, but I really enjoyed the chai flavor in the brownie.”

“I sampled all the desserts, and the s’mores bar was by far my favorite.”

DeSales turned Chef’s Table into the movie Walk the Line, giving students BBQ beef brisket sandwiches with onion tanglers, cheese sauce, a side of cinnamon sweet potato chips and coleslaw. For dessert they had classic key lime pie bites, bourbon chocolate cherry cups and a banana foster tart.

Moravian turned what Muhlenberg knows as Woodfire Grille into the town from The Simpsons. Adorned with stickers and cups serving the iconic Krusty Burger, Atomic Fries, Duff Man root beer floats and Doh-Nuts, students waited in a long line to try this food. 

The line at the Grille collided with the line at Magellan’s, as students were eager to visit The Sandlot. Decorated with baseball lollipops and Baby Ruths, Lehigh did not hold back in creating the backdrop of a baseball field. While they had a chicken cheesesteak nicknamed “The Beast” served with what they called “Benny and the Jets,” a chili lime butter corn cob lollipop, most students came to this station for the “Wendy Peffercorn,” a popcorn mac and cheese, and the “Squints,” a campfire s’mores bar.  According to Emma Newman ‘20, “I sampled all the desserts, and the s’mores bar was by far my favorite.”

“I voted for Lehigh because their food was the best and they were the most enthusiastic about being there.”

The other side of the dining hall became Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Muhlenberg put out an array of sushi choices for students at both Noshery South and Mangia! Mangia!. Sushi options included BBQ brisket sushi roll, a corned beef potato knish roll and a Shawarma rice paper roll, while the rest of the sushi options included a spicy sweet potato avocado tempura roll, an avocado mango roll and a shiitake roll served with wakame salad. 

Many students went station to station with the goal of trying every meal to truly determine their favorite. One of these students was Emma Schwartz ‘21, who kept a list on her phone of what she thought about each meal to truly determine what chef should win the battle. “I voted for Lehigh because their food was the best, and they were the most enthusiastic about being there,” said Shwartz.  

While Schwartz’s vote went to Lehigh, the winner was Moravian College with 238 votes.

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