As many students know, Vassar’s own All Campus Dining Center (ACDC (Deece)), is host to an up-and-coming reality TV show, “Cutthroat Kitchen: College Edition.” Vassar would like to thank the Food Network for this wonderful and invigorating opportunity.
A new iteration of the classic Cutthroat Kitchen show, “College Edition” operates in the same way: four contestants compete for money in a cooking competition where “sabotage is not only encouraged, but for sale.” Contestants can purchase obstacles for their fellow chefs to overcome as they all race to be crowned the best chef, earning their remaining money.
Last Saturday, the contestants assembled in the illustrious Deece Kitchens, ready to do battle. Alton Brown, mastermind of culinary cruelty hosted the show. The Miscellany’s Zander Bashaw was the guest judge for the contest.
Each contestant introduced themselves, proclaiming that they were “serious chef[s],” there to “prove” themselves. Each was adamant that they definitely weren’t here to make friends. After exchanging the usual personal remarks about their opponents’ hair, body compositions and general skill in the workplace, the chefs were ready to begin.
The first contest was to craft “the perfect Deece breakfast.” One chef was given the obstacle of making scrambled eggs with what may or may not be actual eggs. Although he enjoyed the yogurt, Zander chose the chef who made the omelet as the winner of the first round, saying that he would highly recommend it to any Vassar student, of varying hangover levels. The chef bagel chef fell short. Zander cited the reason, “Even though they looked like bagels, they definitely did not remind me of bagels.” When interviewed after their elimination, the chef proved to be a good sport, commenting, “I’m just proud to have gotten this far. I’ll be back next time with some less stale ideas.” The studio audience gave a smattering of respectful snaps.
Moving straight into the second contest, the remaining three judges were presented with the challenges of making a salad with only canned vegetables, pizza with ingredients drawn out of a hat and That Rice Dish With Those Beans, a culinary staple of vegetarian college cuisine. The salad came together quickly with not much skill necessary. Limp lettuce was piled with cucumber slices, tomato chunks and the questionable beet slices, with a generous helping of banana peppers. Other contestants made disparaging remarks about said banana peppers, implying that they were only used to mask some type of personal inadequacy felt by the chef. The chef in question soldiered on, defending their dish, asserting that, “It’s a little different, but so am I,” earning a round of heartfelt snaps from the studio audience.
That Rice Dish With Those Beans came together well, earning Zander’s approval for “truly reminding [him] of real rice and beans.” Zander’s harshest critiques were saved for the grab-bag pizza, saying, “I just wouldn’t eat it.” His heartfelt but harsh words caused this chef to fall under the sharp blade of elimination.
The third contest of the day was served up with a twist: the two remaining chefs were tasked to tackle the all-important Deece Dinner, but they were only allowed to use ingredients from the previous two contests. The chef who made That Rice Dish With Those Beans took a risk in serving the same meal again, but made a strategic move by purchasing a sabotage for their opponent, forcing them to only be able to cook vegetables by boiling them. Despite a monumental effort on the part of the sabotee, our fearleass judge declared the veggies limp and flavorless. The proud chef of That Rice Dish With Those Beans was the winner of the contest, elicting a fair number of snaps, but only enough to know that some people vaguely appreciated the outcome.
In post-competition interview, the winning chef proudly declared, “I did what I meant to do. I came here, and I didn’t make any friends.” The runner-up acknowledged the competitiveness of the competition, commenting that, “Yeah, there were a lot of great competitors today. But I’ll be back here soon to prove to everyone that I can do this. And not make friends.”
“Cutthroat Kitchen: College Edition” ensures attempted creativity, at least in the way the old stand-bys are cooked. If any students wish to be a part of the studio audience or even a guest judge on the next episode of “Cutthroat Kitchen: College Edition,” please complain loudly the next time you’re in the Deece.