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  • Cooking with a Dash of Magic: Tri-Wizard Cup Rounds Two and Three

    Author Carlos Dorantes ’25 is a Food Business Management major.

    The second round of the 3rd annual Tri-Wizard Tournament has commenced. Sixty culinary and 30 baking and pastry students brought their A-game to a culinary showdown, creating an aromatic spectacle that promised a feast for all. In a battle of taste and skill, these culinary maestros aimed to leave a lasting impression. Round Two wasn’t just intense within the tournament space; it also ignited enthusiasm in the crowd area. This stage introduced the concept of spirit points, awarded to teams displaying the utmost spirit. As a result, the audience was a sea of vibrant colors, with people proudly donning shades of purple, green, and orange, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event. In this competition, the three teams—Club Verge, Club Bocuse, and Club Brazier—each comprised of 20 culinary students and 10 baking and pastry students, brought together a diverse group of aspiring chefs to showcase their culinary and pastry talents.

    Round Two:

    On the culinary side of the competition, participants face rigorous evaluation based on specific criteria for ingredients such as mayonnaise, classic French omelet, and fabricated chicken. Judges scores are based on factors like texture, appearance, seasoning, and adherence to designated preparation methods, establishing a comprehensive benchmark for assessing the contestants’ proficiency in delivering high-quality products. On the baking and pastry side of the competition, participants were tasked with buttercream piping, mastering the art of slicing and crumb coating a cake, and exhibiting precision in rolling out pie dough for both the bottom crust and lattice top. These challenges demand a combination of creativity, technique, and attention to detail to impress the judges. At the conclusion of this round, only the top six participants from each side advanced to round three.

    Round Three:

    In the culinary challenge, each of the six finalists demonstrated their expertise by preparing rice pilaf, crafting a cup of hollandaise sauce with precision, and skillfully preparing trout meuniere. On the other side of the spotlight, six talented baking and pastry finalists showcased their skills by creating exquisite desserts, including Grand Marnier soufflé accompanied by a luscious vanilla anglaise, and adorned with intricate chocolate decor.

    The arena reverberated with thunderous cheers and spirited chants as competitors, adorned in their vibrant team colors, passionately supported one another in a display of camaraderie. As the competition concluded, Club Verge emerged as the epitome of team spirit and won the award for top team. In a competition filled with exceptional talent, Steven Rodriguez ’24 distinguished himself as the standout culinary student, while Victoria Sapoznikova ’25 claimed the title of the top baker. Their remarkable skills and dedication set them apart in a field of impressive contestants. “It was an experience unlike any other I’ve had. I’m happy I was able to showcase my skills and enjoy the experience” says culinary winner Steven Rodriguez.

    As another year of the Tri-Wizard Tournament draws to a close, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this highly anticipated event. This thrilling competition has truly enriched my educational experience.

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