Celeb chefs to judge student dishes
For the third year running, Grade 11 students at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School are heading to the auditorium to test their chef skills in the PCHS Iron Chef competition.
Watching, tasting and critiquing the competition on Tuesday is a trio of judges with hefty credentials. Celebrity chef Chuck Hughes is the owner of Montreal restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner and the star of the television show Chuck’s Day Off. He is also a past winner of Iron Chef America.
Gabrielle Rivard-Hiller and Vincent Dion-Lavallée are both chefs at Martin Picard’s Cabane à sucre Au Pied de Cochon and stars of the Télé-Québec series Un Chef à la cabane. Cat Spencer and Sarah Bartok from The Beat 92.5 FM will be the hosts.
Four groups of up to six students will each cook a main meal and a dessert in one hour. They go in having an idea what it is they will be cooking, but the creativity kicks in when, at the top of the competition, secret ingredients are revealed that must be incorporated into the recipes. The winning team members get goodie bags filled with cooking utensils and their names engraved on a plaque.
PCHS cooking teacher Tracy Bieszez organized the competition. The 34-year-old high school teacher and pasty chef has been teaching cooking for seven years and continues to make pastries at Au Pied de Cochon to keep her skills honed.
The Iron Chef competition is one of two big year-end projects for the graduating students. They also must come up with a concept for a restaurant and then run it for one night, doing everything, from selecting a food theme, to designing and printing the menu, cooking, serving and cleaning up.
Proceeds from ticket sales go to two charities: On the Rock Community Services in Pierrefonds which operates a food bank, a school-lunch program and a community-dinner service and Dans la rue, which helps street kids. The PCHS Iron Chef competition is at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School, 13,800 Pierrefonds Blvd. in Pierrefonds, at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Advance tickets cost $5 for students with ID and $10 for adults. They can be purchased at the school’s reception desk. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $15. For information, visit http://pchs.lbpsb.qc.ca/