Teen Anime Club presents: Anime Iron Chef!!
Teens love food.
Teens love anime.
Teens love food and anime.
After assessing all of these groundbreaking facts, we decided that we needed to find another way to have an awesome time making food during our Teen Anime Club at the Encino Library after our successful day of candy sushi last month. What we ended up coming up with was…having an Anime Iron Chef competition!
Inspired by the popular Japanese TV show Iron Chef, we broke up into small teams (three teams of 2 and one team of 3) and had about an hour to create three meals:
- Lightning Appetizer: we had 10 minutes to use only three ingredients to create a bite-sized appetizer!
- Next was our Culinary Curveball: we were asked a trivia question and the first team to guess it correctly had the ability to choose an ingredient that only that team could use for the next round (Question: What is the highest grossing film in Japanese history? Answer: Spirited Away! Team Kuhaku got it right and selected a bowl of chocolates.)
- Main Course & Dessert: we had 30 minutes to use as many ingredients as we needed to create a main course dish as well as a dessert.
- Finally, we were given a few extra bonus minutes to do any final adjustments to our meals, as well as preparing our statements on the reasoning/themes behind our meals.
Our ingredients cart contained all kinds of different delicacies…
- candies such as gummy worms, jelly beans, and chocolates
- snacks such as pocky, graham crackers, and marshmallows
- savory items such as cheese crackers, cheese bites, and ham
- fruits such as apples, bananas, and black berries
- and some oddities…like seaweed!
Once the competition was over, our teams sat down in front of our lovely panel of judges and waited to be scored on three key elements: presentation (how it was displayed on the plate), creativity (how inspired was the mixture of ingredients), and taste (how the combination of ingredients tasted together)? Yeah, that’s right, we couldn’t just throw stuff together—we had to make sure it looked good and tasted delicious!
Want to see the awesome photos, as well as find out who won??
- Coming up with team names… team names ranged from anime and Homestuck references to good ol’ randomness!
- The competition begins! Teams scrambled to get their three ingredients for their appetizer.
- Round 2! After the trivia question was answered, teams snagged up any remaining ingredients to create their final two dishes.
- BZZZZZZZZ!! The buzzer sounds and teams bring their three dishes to the judging table.
Take a look at the ingredients involved in each of our dishes:
Team Well, Well, Well, Well, Well, Well, Well, Well…:
- Appetizer: toothpicked marshmallow, filled and drizzled with sparkle gel and covered with graham cracker crumbs
- Main Course: caramel pumpkin spread on graham crackers and apples, covered in sprinkles; cracker, cheese, and ham cupcake; medley of pretzels and nuts; bananas and blackberries
- Dessert: skull-inspired wasteland, representative of “teen angst”; made with fudge frosting, marshmallow spread, marshmallows, eyeball gumballs, and pocky sticks
Team Jimmy Dean’s Martian Potatoes:
- Appetizer: candy sushi, made with marshmallows, fruit roll-ups, and sour spaghetti
- Main Course: cheese, banana, and ham bites; garnished with sparkle gel and cracker crumble
- Dessert: “The Last Meal,” created with nearly every ingredient available but completely wrapped with a fruit roll-up to conceal its contents
- Appetizer: graham cracker mini sandwiches, filled with marshmallow spread and banana slices
- Main Course: shish kebabs, made with bananas, apples, blackberries, and chocolates, and drizzled with fudge frosting
- Dessert: “screaming witches;” cupcake holders filled with marshmallow spread and fudge frosting, with York peppermint patties, eyeball gumballs, and strawberry pocky sticks
Team Buggy Pirates:
- Appetizer: “Japanese fireworks;” marshmallows wrapped in fruit roll-ups and garnished with sour strings
- Main Course: medley of jelly beans, pretzels, nuts, chocolate-covered blackberries, and gummy candies, served with green tea pocky sticks
- Dessert: “Death Note: Light’s Madness;” marshmallow spread swirled with fudge frosting, and served with apple slices, eyeball gumballs, and sprinkles
- JUDGING BEGINS!! Robin, another librarian at the Encino Library, joined the panel as our fantastic guest judge to help decide which team would walk away as the Anime Iron Chefs. Teams came up one by one to discuss their meals and hope to successfully persuade with their words, and their food choices, as to why they should win.
- And the winning team is… Team Kuhaku!! Yes, they won both the trivia question and the entire competition!! They walked away with some spooky pumpkin and ghost lights, as well as cotton candy cobwebs.
We had so much fun that we’ve decide to do this once a month during Teen Anime Club! Will you join us next month to see if you can walk away as the next Anime Iron Chef??!
The Teen Anime Club at the Encino Library meets every Monday from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Always check the calendar online for special editions of the club, or to see any club cancellations around the holidays. Bring your friends! We hope to see you soon!!