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School cafeteria workers compete for Iron Chef title

Posted: November 8, 2017 - 3:26am
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Teams pictured from left: Regina Starnes, Jennifer Love, Annie O’Tyson, Ricci McRae, Tammy Vaughn and Tara Taylor.

New names were added to the Red Oak Manor Iron Chef wall of fame Friday.

The Harlem restaurant welcomed its first Columbia County School Nutrition Association competition, pitting different school cafeteria workers against each other for the Iron Chef title.

"We were so glad to host the Columbia County School Nutrition Association's competition for Iron Chef Harlem at the Acorn Restaurant and Red Oak," said restaurant owner Renee Dean.

The cooking teams were Tara Taylor, cafeteria manager at North Harlem Elementary, and Tammy Vaughn, cafeteria manager at Harlem Middle School; Annie O'Tyson and Ricci McRae from Stevens Creek Elementary School; and Regina Starnes and Jennifer Love from North Harlem Elementary.

The three judges for the evening were Jeff Carney, Columbia County Schools assistant superintendent; Connie Chaney, Columbia Middle School nutrition manager; and Scott Richardson, Warren county schools nutrition manager.

For each competition, a secret ingredient is chosen for the teams to incorporate into each course they present. In this competition, the secret ingredients were pumpkin and squash, according to Dean. Each team created and presented an appetizer, soup and entree for the judges and crowd of 84 guests.

"All the teams even coordinated their outfits for the competition," Dean said. "We love that they had shirts made for the special occasion."

Stevens Creek cooks O'Tyson and McRae took the Judges award with a score of 45, and Taylor and Vaughn won the People's Choice award with 36 votes.

 

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