Kids get creative in Iron Chef Challenge

Kendra Baker photos
Teens and tweens brought their imaginations, innovation skills and cooking skills to the fourth annual Teen Iron Chef Challenge at Wilton Library on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
The library’s annual Teen Chef Challenge for students entering grades 6-12 is “one of the more popular teen programs” the library holds each year, said Janet Crystal, marketing communications manager at Wilton Library.
Before each round, the two- to four-person teams were presented with a table full of ingredients they could use to create their dishes.
With whisks and knives available for use, as well as a microwave, the teams were then given 25 minutes to create each dish before presenting it to the judges, who picked the winning teams based on taste, creativity and presentation.
This year’s judges were Diane Wilson, library trustee, and Michael Bellacosa, information services and community engagement manager.


“The first round was salad as a main course, so we had ingredients for them to use to make pasta salads, green leaf salads, bean salads or a whole combination, if that’s what they wanted,” said Jennifer Walker, teen services assistant at the library.
Team 1 (Kaz Nobumoto and Evan Aelman) won that round of the competition.

Dessert sushi

In the second round, teams had to make dessert sushi. They were presented with ingredients ranging from Fruit Roll-ups and Rice Krispies to bananas, chocolate and gummy bears.
Team 8 — Kiana Nobumoto, Emma Driver, Dilshad Dinshaw and Gerri Fox — won that round. The judges described the team’s dish as “simple,” “elegant” and “creative.”

Overall winners

At the end of the competition, the judges had to name an overall winning team based on consistent creativity in both rounds.
However, the judges weren’t able to pick just one, so it was a tie between Team 2 (Zinia and Olive Fengel) and Team 5 (Chase Cureau, Greg Flynn and Jake Sommer).
Members of Teams 1 and 8 received aprons they can embroider at the library’s Innovation Station and members of Teams 2 and 5 received Teen Cuisine cookbooks.