The Boiler Culinary Throwdown

displaymedia (1)Are you free next Friday night? Are you a Purdue student or do you live in the surrounding Lafayette, IN area?  Do you love anything related to food? (of course you do, you’re reading this blog). If you answered YES to all three questions, I have a really awesome event you need to attend! The Boiler Culinary Throwdown is a live cooking competition taking place in the Purdue Memorial Union Ballrooms on February 19, 2016 at 6pm. The competition is similar to the popular Food Network show Iron Chef, and we are lucky enough to have Aaron McCargo Jr., winner of “The Next Food Network Star” as one of our judges!

I’ve heard about this competition since my freshman year at Purdue and have always wanted to compete but never had a team. Finally this year, a couple of the cooking instructors and I decided to just bite the bullet and apply, and we were picked to compete!

We wanted to be a part of this competition because in our jobs as cooking instructors, we have set menus of demonstrations that we have to teach. But outside the kitchen, things are a different story. Over the last year, we’ve spent time outside of work cooking with each other, letting our creativity flow and combining all the good things about each of our recipes to make really amazing food. We wanted the opportunity to show that we don’t just teach people to cook, but that we have a creative side that loves to experiment.We’re excited to step out of our CoRec Kitchen and show Purdue what we have to offer!

Now, in true foodie fashion, let me introduce you to my teammates:

I think a nice smoky, finger-licking, spicy, sweet and tangy pulled pork sandwich on a homemade, garlic butter toasted bun would be the perfect dish to describe our team. The four of us all have really different personalities that all shine through in our cooking, which mirrors the different flavors that make up a good barbeque sauce. Jessica is definitely the spice, with her sassy attitude, she’s never afraid to speak her mind.  Haleigh is the brown sugar, adding the sweetness to the sauce with her sunny, soft-spoken personality. Luke undoubtedly the pork, the meat of the dish; coming from a family of butchers, Luke is always the first one to offer up his grilling and smoking expertise. He’s also the guy that everyone loves, the best part of any sandwich. Olivia, avid carb lover, is the bread that provides the base for the sandwich. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with just a little bit of kick from the garlic butter, is the mom of the team with just a hint of edge. While we all have different strengths to offer, we all end up complementing each other, coming together to make a cohesive, unforgettable dish.

Stay tuned for one more post before the big event, and like our promo video! (Please don’t judge- we’re wonderful cooks but terrible actors 🙂

By: Olivia Birlson

Senior in Dietetics and the Certificate in Entrepreneurship Program at Purdue University

Cooking Instructor



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